Thursday, June 22, 2017

'Pinas for Good: The Process and Personal Experiences



A few years ago, I scoured the internet for a blog that captures and chronicles how OFW can come home for good. I didn't find any and that's how this blog was born. Modesty aside, I dare say that "I started it all." I never  promoted this blog because I want people to naturally find it. There's so much hunger for financial literacy, especially among OFWs. I can't believe I almost reached a million views!



Though my recent posts were nonsense, my past posts were valuable. In this post, I condensed everything that I've been through, the struggles that I experienced- emotionally, things that I prepared and all. 





I got super emotional while backreading all my old post. What a journey!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Severe Water Supply Problem in Cebu: Poking a Hole in My Paradise




Man oh man! The water supply problem is making a big comeback and it's severer than last time!

If you have been following my blog, I have been complaining about water supply problem last year so I spent my first salary from my online job installing pressurized water tank. All was well until few weeks ago. The water supply system in Cebu has been on and off. The pressure can't go up the tank so I don't have water stored in the tank. We went back to the medieval way of fetching water, and man I. AM. TIRED....

Read my last year complain here   and read my post when I bragged about my pressurize water tank   here .

Also, check out MCWD's Facebook page to let you know that I am not exaggerating.   I've heard that they aren't accepting new applicants na due to this problem. Patay!


I've come up with several solutions. First, I let the plumber install a faucet outside my house which is near the water meter. It didn't work.


Can you see my palmera? It's dying!


 Last, I let the plumber install a faucet in the water meter because a lot of people in my subdivision has been doing it. I don't know if it's illegal but we don't have choice. Wala talagang tubig! We still have to get up at 3 AM to fetch water though. 






The current situation


My neighbors and I were joking na we are like hermit crabs because we are slowly getting up at night. Hahay!







I have been thinking of installing a deep well system. I have been researching about it. Some of my neighbors have this kind of system and according to my research, it cost about 45-60 thousand to have have it dug and installed. I am really considering it but I do need to research more about it since I live in Lapu Lapu, which is a place known for beaches and such. Baka pag dig nila, salty na ang water so sayang lang ang 60k ko. Though my neighbors don't have problems naman with salty water. I don't know. Baka I won't go to my Europe trip na because of this and because of Manchester attack. I'm attending pa naman GnR and Aerosmith concert and hearing about the news scares the living shit out of me. 






Wednesday, April 12, 2017

BPI Express Credit Card Detailed Timeline: From Application to Delivery





I have been wanting to have a credit card since a year ago just for convenience sake and I also want to build my credit history just in case I have some business ideas that might need funding in the future. I already gave up applying for credit card since I was  denied a couple of times. This time, I got approved and it was, I think, because I talked to the right person.

Note: I don't think credit card is for everybody. This thing is dangerous when it's not used properly. I already have a good grip when it comes to finance that's why I don't have any doubts that I will be able to use this to my advantage.



BPI Super Metro Lapu Lapu GMC (Denied twice)

I don't know why but I always don't have luck when it comes to this branch. Read my experience here. One time, I went there armed with my Mutual Fund statement of accounts, land titles, stock certificates and all but they denied my credit card application. The horror! I was very shocked! They told me that they need "Employment Certificate, Income Tax and three months pay slip". ( I even showed them my properties and paper assets to no avail.) They didn't even consider that I am a long time BPI costumer with good records. I was humbled, yes! I went there the second time armed with all the things they asked  the last time, but they denied me anyway. I gave up!

Note: The problem is they just look at the requirements, they don't even look at your bank account history. Incompetent af or maybe they know that I blogged about them. Ha!





BPI MEPZ 2 Pueblo Verde Basak Lapu-Lapu City
 

BPI Tamiya Branch (near Mactan Outlets)

I went to this branch a month ago to ask for  statement of account and bank certificate, which were some of the requirements for my visa application to France. I nonchalantly asked  the teller about "secured credit card" since I've heard that this is a sure way to get credit card with no application needed and if you maintain good records for few years, you will be granted real credit card. While she was processing my bank certificate request, she was talking to the manager and I they were looking at my bank account history and voila, they said I got approved for express credit card. NO REQUIREMENTS NEEDED.




Timeline:


March  17, 2017-  I was informed that I was eligible for Express Credit Card (The same time I requested for Bank Certificate and bank statement). The manager said that she will e-mail me about my credit card limit.

Note: I didn't  get any e-mail from her so I just let it go.I thought I was denied.


March 31, 2017- I received this text:



April 6, 2017: I noticed that there was another tab added in my online bank account and that's how I found out how much is my credit card limit.


I was expecting Php 10,000 credit card limit. They really want to trap you, huh?   


Note: My friend told me about this, that BPI just automatically added a new section in your online bank account without any warning.


April 10, 2017: I called BPI Tamiya because I haven't received my credit card yet so the girl I was talking to told me that she is going to e-mail the main office with regards to my concern.


Twenty minutes later, I received this:







 

Note: 

BPI Credit Card Courier is Air21





Note: They have to waive my annual fee or I'm giving this credit card up. No way I'm paying Php 1,500 for something I don't even need. 





Wednesday, April 5, 2017

March 2017: Income and Expenses




March 1-15 : Php 10,798




March 16-31: Php 11, 512





Total Income: Php 22, 311.00
Total Expenses: Php 16, 243.70


Europe Trip Savings= PHP 62,186.85 + 6,067.30= PHP  68,254.15




 

Monday, April 3, 2017

French Embassy: Applying for a Tourist Visa (PHILIPPINES)



I went to Manila and went back to Cebu in just a day. Feeling rich lang ang drama ko kahapon! heheh!


  • Had a morning flight but was raining like crazy in Cebu. After I arrived in Manila, it was hot as f there. Nevertheless, I still prefer Cebu to Manila. No offense to all people who are from Manila. I am just a creature of habit and I like familiarity. Manila is too crowded for my liking.
  • Arrived at NAIA around 9 AM and went straight to VFS Global:
     
France Visa Application Center 

Unit MO2 Mezzanine floor Ecoplaza Bldg.
Don Chino Roces, Ave., Extension
Makati City 1231, Philippines


  • I used GrabTaxi to get to VFS Global and it costed me Php 185.
  • VFS Global is located at the second floor of Ecoplaza.
  • You are allowed to get in 15 minutes before your schedule.
  • You will be directed to the locker room. Locker room fee is Php 75. You have to pay after the interview.
  • You can bring your phone inside, but it should remain off. I saw people texting though. I didn't bring my phone with me inside because I thought it wasn't allowed. 
Things you can bring inside:

-pouch/small bag
- phone (but should be off)
- documents
- snacks (I saw people eating chips and biscuits inside so it must be allowed. I think you should bring a snack or two because I was there for 2 hours and I definitely got hungry.) 


My documents included:

-  Appointment (You can set up an appointment through their website beforehand.)
- Cover Letter ( I saw someone writing her cover letter. She must have forgotten to make one in advance.)
- SECPA/ Live birth
- Passport
- Photocopy of previous visa
- Aerosmith and Guns N' Roses concert tickets
- Plane reservations 
- Hotel reservations
- Eiffel Tower restaurant reservation 
- Bank Certificate ( I requested mine at BPI. Fee: Php100)
- Bank Statement ( 3 months)
- Letter of Acknowledgement from my current company with three moths salary 
- Leave of Absence  

Other supporting documents I included were: 

- 3 land titles
- 2 mutual funds statement of account




  • My appointment was at 11:00 PM, but I waited for about  1 to two hours. I was nervous as heck and I don't even know why I was nervous in the first place!
  • The girl just checked my requirements. She didn't even ask me anything! She had this checklist and she checked my documents one by one and she let me signed the checklist.
  • I got the receipt and I proceeded to the cashier.
  • Here is the detailed list of all the fees I had to pay:
Short stay Visa Fee- Php 3,140
Logistic Fee- Php 1,361
Courier Fee- Php 330 (You can choose to pick it up, but I chose this one since I am living in Cebu)
SMS Fee- Php 110 (Had I known that there is a fee for the updates, I wouldn't have opted for this.)


  • Wait for your name to be called for Biometrics.
  • Biometrics took about less than 5 minutes. She took my fingerprint and my picture and she told me about what to expect in a few days (like the texts I will receive, the courier thing and all)
  • My passport will arrive in 2 to 5 business days, but it might take longer because I live outside Metro Manila.



    Waiting game nalang! If ma approve, okay! If hindi, then I will be Php 100,000 pesos richer by June.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

February 2017: Income and Expenses



I spent a lot this month. Stark got sick and I had to take them to the vet for their yearly shots. Even though I almost spent my February salary, I'm still happy because I didn't overspend. Ever since I started working online, I always have leftover at the end of the month no matter how much I "splurge". I guess the saver in me is here to stay. 







INCOME: 




Feb 1-15





Feb. 16-28


I also sold a perfume. Php 1,000 ( I have been selling all my unused stuffs online. Extra money + getting rid of stuffs = winner!)

I also earned extra Php 1,250 (side hustle)



I also gave Php 2,000 to my niece. I am still helping her with tuition fee. If you still remember, I mentioned before that I already budgeted for my nieces' tuition fee (from high school all the way to college) before I went home for good. I'm happy that I am not touching the money I saved for her since I have been getting the money from my salary. (Nope, not the niece who got pregnant. Still not talking to that niece.)


Europe Trip Savings= Php 59,000 + 3,186.85 = PHP 62,186.85

Monday, February 27, 2017

My Minimalist House Part 2



A lot of people have been e-mailing me about the continuation of my house (because they saw stairs daw ) so here it is.


Note: M.O emailed me asking questions about house construction,  prices and such. I'll try and answer those questions in my next post. (Hey girl, I hear 'ya! Sorry I have been so busy lately.) 

Note 2: This is not yet the finish product. I still have a lot of things to get rid of, furniture to add, etc. I can't do it at once so it might take some time. After all, it's a process, right?


Let me begin with the view from my rooftop: 


People always gasp at the view.
I consider myself lucky!



Pano
First Door: My Room
Next: Hallway that leads downstairs, Farthest is my brother's room
Second Door: My closet
Third Door (open): Second Bathroom (first bathroom is downstairs)



The Hallway
Pretty empty, huh?
Planning to put an altar here




My Bedroom
If I have the choice, I would buy white bed sheets. I will wait until it breaks before buying new one





This is where I work.
I still write my goals and dreams!

The Blackout Curtain
It was customized. Just bought materials and let someone sew it because Blackout curtains are pretty expensive




Left: The Office Supply/ Library
Right: My Bro's room




The room beside my brother's room, which leads to the balcony
I made it into a office supply/library





Books and Office Supply
Have to go through all my books pa
Do you have any idea where to sell second hand books here in Cebu?


My brother's room.
Pretty minimal too!




My Closet
My goal is to fit all my clothes in that cabinet.
Getting there!





My Bathroom





I got rid of so much stuffs.
No more toner for me.
Goal: to finish the sunblock, perfume, lotion and petroleum jelly and switch to natural one





Bathroom





The rooftop
Presenting, The Baby Girl: Pepper
Far right: Starting up a new rooftop garden. Still trial and error stage






The Baby Girl: Pepper Potts





Their Playground








The Sunrise











Saturday, February 18, 2017

Friday Spending



All the things I bought:



SM Marina Mall - Lapu Lapu


BREAKDOWN:


Eden Sandwich Spread  470g Php 131.50 ($2.62)
Winner Cooked Ham 1 kg Php 195 ($3.89)
Fresh Egg 1 doz Php 78 ($1.56)
Gardenia Whole Wheat Raisin Bread Php 90 ($1.80)
Giggles Wipes Php 67.75 ($1.35)
Lettuce (2.36 grams) Php 242 per kilo ($4.83/kilo) Php 57.11 ($1.14)



SNR



SNR- damage section



SNR- damage section



BREAKDOWN:

Amahong  Php 49.95 ($1) (Yes, this is the devil! I wish I haven't seen this!)
Anchor Cheese Php 136.95 ($2.73)
Gardenia Wheat Bread Php 72 ($1.44)
Pedigree Adult  55 lbs. Php 1,749.95 ($34.92)
Biozip Colour 4kg Php 149.95 ($2.99)
Bounty Paper Towels 5 pcs Php 200 ($3.99)

Note:

I have been going to SNR for the longest time, but I just found the damage section. I was elated to find the Biozip (original price is Php 349.95 ($6.98), got it for only Php 149.95($2.99) ) and Bounty Paper Towels (12 pieces original price is Php 1,799 ($35), got it for only Php 200 - 5 pcs($4))  I have been making wet wipes at home for Stark and Pepper's paws.



ACE Hardware-SM City, Cebu



Breakdown:

Ramgo Eggplant Seeds Php 49.75 ($.99)
Hose Connector Php 37.75 ($.75)
Tap adaptor Php 37.75 ($.75)


SM City -Cebu




BREAKDOWN:


Ginamos 250g Php 71 ($1.42) ( I know. This is the death of me.)
Eight O'clock Ice Tea powdered juice Php 56.60 ($1.13)
San Marino Tuna Php 53 ($1.06)
Fresh Egg 1 dozen Php 75 ($1.50)
Zim Liquid Floor Cleaner Php 54.75  ($1.09)(Total fail. I don't like it.)
Lettuce Php 44.70 ($.89)
Gardenia Whole Wheat Bread Php 72 ($1.44)





SNR Cebu-Damage Section





Friday, February 10, 2017

On Pets: Vet Cost, etc. in Philippines




Stark has some kind of weird genetic skin disease and his testicles is swollen, so I went to the vet the other day. I tagged Pepper along since it's  also in time for their shots. 

Stark was shaking so he needed some support from Mommy

The vet recommended these:

Fur Magic ( 1 liter) Php 550 ( $11)
10 Tablets of Antihistamine Php 150 ($3)
Vitality ( 1 Sack) 15 kgs Php 1,850 ($37)





Pepper is very picky when it comes to her food, so I usually have different kinds of food lying around.

Note: Vitality is mostly for Stark because his skin is very sensitive. I just hope that he won't get bored with this.

Pep: Hmmm, which one am I in the mood for ?

Total Vet Cost: Php 4,150   ($83)

Breakdown:

Skin scraping Php 150 ($3) per scrape x 2= Php 300 ($6)
Deworming Php 550 each ($11) x 2 = Php 1,100 ($22)
Anthihistamine (10 tabs) Php 150 ($3)
Fur Magic  Php 550 ($11)
1 Sack Vitality Php 1,850 ($37)
Professional Fee Php 200 ($4)



Though it's expensive, I can put up with it since they give me immense happiness, plus I'm not really digging through my savings, so I'm okay with that.

I guess my saving-for-Europe trip plan is kinda ruin this month, but that's okay. It's worth it.