Tuesday, October 29, 2013

25 Random Things About Me

I'm feeling narcissistic today and decided to post this. Hehe. These are random facts about me beyond anything finance:

  •  I am the only girl among 3 brothers. My "bothers" were the reason I love Chucks and rock music.
Sporting one of my everyday Chucks

  •  Huge fan of Matchbox 20 since Grade 6. At 15 years old, I decided to name my future son Rob Thomas, same name as the MB20's vocalist. Since I decided not to get married, I gave the name Rob Thomas to my nephew. Now I have a 3 year old nephew named Rob Thomas. 

  •  My playlists include all songs of Matchbox 20, Green Day (Dookie and Nimrod albums), Red Hot Chili Pepper.

  •  I don't own Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. I love blogging and blog-hopping, though.

  • There is only one person who knows my real identity so I'm kind of careless with what I'm posting here, but rest assured that I am telling the truth despite me being anonymous.

  •  I started Grade 1 when I was 6. Didn't go through kindergarten coz it wasn't mandatory. I graduated college and passed the boards when I was 19. No,  I'm not nerd,  just studious.

  •  Sucker for horror and anything paranormal. I put rosary in my doorknob coz I'd get super scared.

Down the Hill..
Skateboarding for the first time
  •  I sleep holding my rosary.

  •  Straight edge-  I don't  smoke, don't drink, don't do drugs. I am a celibate, too.

  •  I don't like going to mall or bar. I don't like crowd and I don't like the smell of smoke.

  • Tried skateboarding for the first time two years ago. 

  • Went to New York for the first time alone.

  •  Love Investigation Discovery - a channel devoted for anything crime and serial killers.

  • I am 5'2 1/2 tall.

  •  Bullied when I was in elementary. I didn't know how to fix myself. No female to look up to , that's why. Mom isn't the girly-girl type. 

Who wouldn't get bullied with this hair?! Geez!
Learned how to be presentable when I was sophomore in high school. Learned to apply make up after college.

  •  Had my first crush when I was Grade 5, but he was one of the bullies. Ouch!

• My elementary classmates think that I look so different when I reconnected with them through Facebook. How do you like me now, bullies?!
Late bloomer

• Used to run 6 miles straight until I got runner's knee problem. Now, I'm taking it easy.

  • Last time I had pedicure was 2002- 4th year High school. Never had my fingernails done, ever! I know, right?!

  •  Spicy food is yum!

  •  Received Beauty of the Year award when I was in high school. ahem!

  • Seeing the Pope and hearing a mass delivered by the Pope are one of the things I'll do before I die.
Yoda Man

  •  I think  Jedi Master Yoda is hot. Hot, he is

  • • Hopes to be a mountaineer and conquer tons of mountains all over the Philippines and beyond.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Frugal Tip: The Gift of Contentment

Contentment is hard to come by these days. The temptation to consume your way through life is great, that's why I consider contentment as a gift from the Big Guy up there. My daily  and breath prayers include : Lord, give me the gift of contentment.

Being contented with what you have is an important trait to be mastered coz if you don't have the sense of contentment, no matter how much you have, it would never be enough.  

I consider myself fairly frugal, but I still get tempted to spend. Though I always change my mind after thinking it through, it still leaves a hollow feeling inside- the feeling of deprivation. When this feeling of deprivation kicks in, I count my blessings and ask for the gift of contentment, and immediately, the feeling of deprivation dissipate and by then, I'll realize that I am blessed with more than enough. 

Sure, I can afford to buy a silk bed covers that I have been eyeing for the longest time but I chose not to, I'd make do with my cotton cover and I'm contented with it. Sure, I can afford to eat out all the time but I chose not to coz I am contented with my homecooked meals , plus cooking regularly adds to my not-so-good cooking skill.

To this very day, I always and often ask for the gift of contentment and immediately I'd feel a sense of peace and knowledge and I know that the Big Guy is listening. 

Lord, give me the gift of contentment each and everyday. Let me be constantly reminded that I'm blessed with more than enough. Thank you for the opportunity and the ability to do wealth.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Growing Up Poor Isn't Too Bad

Philippines is a developing country. The gap between rich and poor is so wide. Rich people are getting richer, poor people are getting poorer. 

I've mentioned in one of my posts that I grew up poor. When my father died, my sibs and I got sent to different relatives. I spent my teenage years wiping windows and cleaning before the crack of dawn. I spent my weekends hand-washing clothes. And ooooh,that darn heavy wedding gowns that I have to wash. I sometimes see myself crying, wishing that I could swap life with my cousin who wakes up late and with nothing to do but study while here I am, wet from head to toes, washing one of their clothes.

Now that I am blessed and I looked back, I thank God for letting me experience all of that. I repeat, I THANK GOD FOR ALL OF THAT,  it made me who I am.

Now that I am earning well enough and now that I have taken the road to financial independence, here are the list that I think growing up poor isn't too bad:

• Scrimping is easy

• Leftovers don't fazed me

• Hand-washing clothes? No problem, I grew up with that

• Resiliency 

• Walk everywhere like a boss is easy and now, it have become my pastime

• Fixing things

• Sewing clothes that has holes

Ukay-ukay don't give me the creeps as long as I disinfect it first

• Bad debt is a no-no

• Not picky with food. I eat anything as long as its edible

For the love of veggies- I love vegetables!

Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without mentality is here to stay

• Switch to saving mode is easy as ABC

• Daydreaming- hey, that's visualization there! ;)

• I take care of my stuffs

• Being bored is not in my vocab

• Doing things alone on a budget is my way

• I'm not maarte. I don't complain. I make do with what I have.

• I am your best guest. I can sleep in cupboard, no arte there! Cowboy all the way.

• Going under sun doesn't bother me

• Great admiration for simple and laid back life

The list goes on and on..

Growing up poor isn't too bad at all. It prepared me for my life now. I don't think I am able to survive with style  without my experiences.

When I face problems, I see it as a small dot of my life and that too shall pass. 

Hardships are God's way on preparing you for the life you will soon take. Be thankful for the hardships and pick a lesson or two along the way.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Life in a Day

I am a docu-addict! I've watched countless documentaries! I am into   old times like Medieval period, Renaissance,  knights and anything history related. I am also into travel documentaries, Egyptology ,Greek Mythology, and plagues that once hit humanity, stuffs like that.

I just finished Life in a Day, and I can't help but marvel on how beautiful this documentary is. It is a feature-length documentary shot on a single day- July 24, 2010 and people from around the world submitted their videos. 

This is different from any other documentaries I've watched that's why I am in awe. It's amazing to see different people from different places all over the world doing different activities in a day. It was beautifully edited,too.

One of the best documentaries I've seen so far.

Exhilarating and refreshing.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Frugal Tip : No Spending Day Habit

A day or a period of time set by you where you don't spend anything, not even a single centavo aka The Spending Fast.

I have been doing this for a quiet some time and I consider myself hardcore. I can go for weeks without spending. I can go for a month, but I regularly send money to my mom back home so I really can't do this, otherwise my mom would starve.

    Things I do prior to No Spending Day/s:

  • I plan for my meals. This is the time I go over my leftovers and rummage through my pantry.  Cook in bulk. Be creative and be open for substitute ingredients.

  • Transportation should be budgeted ahead. 

  • Plan for activities that don't cost a dime. Suggestions:
                       Walk ( Leisurely or Brisk)
                       Board game session with family
                       General cleaning/ de-clutter
                       Sleeping in
                       Gardening/yard work
                       Talk to family and bond with them

I suggest you refrain from going online. Yes, you can check your email once in awhile, but don't be glued in the web unless you work online. Hey, going online cost electricity ,too. Read a book or listen to some podcast.

Take note: No binge-spending  before and after the No Spending Day.

Try this, it's just a day.. Come on now..

Good luck.

Photo Credit: talkingcents.consumercredit.com


Monday, October 14, 2013

Throwaway Thursday

Whew, it's been a while since I went over my stuffs and it's been a while since I gave away something. My stuffs are getting less and less but I need to ruthlessly edit more. Still a working progress minimalist here!

It's weird  finding useless stuffs that I have been holding on like a pair of stockings that has runs.  I bought  it for $18 dollars years ago coz I had to attend a formal gathering and it has tummy control thingamajiggy, I was in a heavier side at that time. I thought expensive stuff equals high quality and I thought this would be my go-to stocking for formal events forever and ever and I was so wrong. I used it for just a night and bam, it has long runs! I know I can't use it anymore but I held on to it coz hey, I bought it for $18! I thought I'd justify my spending by keeping it but I know in my heart of hearts that I should let this go.

Here are stuffs I am giving away for my 4th Throwaway Thursday:

•Make ups


• The 18 dollar stockings:

•Random personal care stuffs I am not using. These are still unopened.

• Hangers

Less stuff, less stress.

Good riddance.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Rainin' , Complainin' and Murphy's Law

It has been raining nonstop for 5 days now. I consider myself a positive person and I mostly look on the bright side of things , but people around me are complaining about the weather that it got into me and I found myself pouting and wishing that rain would stop soon.

Last week, it reached 90 degrees and people around me complained that "it's too hot and it doesn't feel like fall" yada yada. Now that rain is here to cool things down, people are still complaining. Yah,  crazy weather is so first world problem!

I worked until 11:00 pm last night and it took me a while to get a taxi.The storm was crazy and a lot of streets had been closed down because of  the fallen trees and strong winds.  I started to get worried but I was glad  that I got home safe and was tucked in and snoozing on my bed by 11:40 PM. 

I woke up ready to start my morning run and found out that it was still raining. I settled back on my bed while listening to a podcast and the lights went out. It was still raining and I decided to  walk  to the bank and swing by the  library to dropped off DVDs and book that I borrowed and to pick up Star Wars and Back to the Future DVDs that were put on hold but found out that library was closed coz the power was down. Hahai, talk about Murphy's Law  anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

I didn't let Murphy's Law get the best of me. I walked for 6 miles and ,when I saw that rain kind of stop, I hit the trail for a 3.5 mile run. I went home thankful that Mother Nature gave me time to run before it rained again. Alleluia!

I baked cookies and had a nice lunch. I am currently reading an ebook I borrowed from the library's website:

John C.  Maxwell
Ethics 101

Right now, as I am comfy cozy under the sheets, I realized that I should try and not listen to other people's negative views in life. I am blessed with more than enough,  I should be thankful always. Bad weather is not the end of things and Mr. Sun would be smiling on me before I know it.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Filipino Crab Mentality: My Fair Share

I still remember an ABS-CBN commercial long time ago  about a bucket of crabs wanting to escape but can't coz the the one from the bottom tries to pull the crab that's on top. The advertisement then showed that what if they'll rock the bucket back and forth together, they have a great chance of escaping.

People who have crab mentality attitude are all around us. We all go through this,  the gossip and backstabbing one way or the other. Cutting that kind of people in our lives proves to be a great solution.

Crab mentality is such a filipino trait that we hear that two words at our very young age. As the famous saying goes, "we all like to see our friends get ahead, but not too far ahead.” This is such a negative attitude and this, I think, is one of the reasons we remain poor. "Ay, she has a new car and a house, I bet she has a sugar daddy"

I was a victim of this not too long ago and I have no choice but to cut ties with them. And what hurts me the most are they are my relatives, a grandmother (sister of my mom's mom). I can't believe someone that old   can hurt someone who is 40 years younger than her. 'Diba, we should celebrate someone's success? Why are pulling them down? Why are jumping into conclusions without even knowing the whole story?

One day, my mother messaged me. She said to call right away. I called and she was crying, she told me that my grandmother was spreading rumors and confronted her that that's why I can afford to send my two nieces to a private school, put my brother to a drug rehab center, support my grandfather, mom and my brother, who is attending college at the moment, and bought a house and lot because I have an old guy who have been supporting me- in short, I have a sugar daddy! I was so pissed! SERIOUSLY?! THE NERVE TO SAY THAT? SHE DOESN'T KNOW WHAT I HAVE BEEN DOING TO SAVE MONEY! SHE DOESN'T KNOW I ATE INSTANT NOODLES MOST OF THE TIME  TO BE ABLE TO AFFORD ALL THAT! NOT TO MENTION THE MILES I WALKED JUST TO SAVE A $1.50 BUS FARE! THE NERVE! GRRRRRR. SHE KNOWS NOTHING AT ALL.

One of the dumbest thing I did was to post my whole ordeal in my Facebook status *facepalm*..Ultimate facepalm! Triple ultimate facepalm. I cringed when I looked back at that whole ordeal, I should have remained calm and not post stupid statuses like that for whole people to see! Gosh, but one thing that I think I did right was to cut ties and block that backstabber in my life. No nega people please!

What got me thinking to this very day is why is she doing it? She is currently abroad who has lots of real state investment back home, like a lot. Maybe 20+ at different locations all throughout Cebu City. Why would she pull someone like me, a small crab with big dreams? A small crab with high hopes to pull out my family from poverty? Why? 

She alone can answer that and for now, I continue to celebrate other's success. I make them as my inspiration. I don't go on their back and stab them. 

Let's end crab mentality attitude one person at a time and make Philippines a better nation.

Photo credits: www.ashtarcommandcrew.net 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Dictator Movie & Filipino Comments


I borrowed Dictator from the library earlier and it was hilarious!

 You should be open-minded or else you will get offended. There are a lot of racist and offensive comments in the movie and some scenes that aren't advisable for youngsters. I laughed so badly. Again, you should be open-minded while watching to enjoy the movie.

Filipino was mentioned that's why I'm making a blog post. Here it is:

General Aladeen: Okay, I'll do Filipino. I like to work, I like to talk. 
[pulling eyelids backwards]
General Aladeen: I like the shit, I do the kids. 
Nadal: [Pulling Aladeen's hands off] Stop that! Your Filipino is the same as your Chinese!
General Aladeen: Now who's being a lacist? You're being lacist now!
Nadal: I'm not being racist! Right now, we have to get on this helicopter and we have to act like true Americans. 

Aladeen was clearly referring to all hardworking Overseas Filipino Worker around the world. We love to work, yes! We like to talk, yes! We take on any odd job just to earn. I am not offended by his comment in fact, I laughed so badly coz it's true.

We have been stereotyped a lot of times and I just laugh it off but the thing that got me is the comment that Filipinos eat dogs!!  In which I would answer, "My friend, we don't eat dogs, we eat human" Comprende? hehehe

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Saturday Gravity

Ohhhhhhhh man, the movie was amazing!

My friend, who is a movie buff,  keep saying/forcing me to watch Gravity coz it's the best movie specially if you watch it on IMAX.  I kept saying no and would then answer that "I am saving my eyes for The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug". I am a Lord of the Ring fan. Thanks to our local library,I've read the LOTR trilogy and The Hobbit book a few times and watched the movies countless times for free. I even memorized a line of two in the movies. Hehe

My friend was nice enough to give me a gift card. Since I have gift cards to burn, I went ahead and watched and boy,  I was glad I did. It was awesome! 76.99 percent of the time, I was gaping! I feel like I can just reach out and help Sandra Bullock figure the whole thing. I kept flinching coz it seemed like the debris would hit me straight to my face!  There was a tearjerker moment too, and the actors did a good job acting. I am totally moved! An hour and a half of cool space experience. Goosebumps and all! Worth the money,if you ask me.

Gravity is my first movie for this year, by the way, and my first movie in 10 months. Whenever I watch on IMAX,  I would always order Five Guys. 

Hey, don't judge. I jogged for 3 miles earlier when the sun wasn't fully up yet and I didn't finish the whole thing1 I brought half home and will have it for dinner later. My first Five Guys in 10 months.

I went ahead and checked my favorite store, Old Navy. I took $50 from my Me Fund and bought workout clothes. I am in dire need of sports bra with padding coz... basta.. I ain't explaining it. If you are a runner, then you'd get what I mean;)

Things I bought at Old Navy:

• Yoga Capri pants
•Sports bra
•Two workout tops

I spent $27 in Old Navy, by the way.The white one is my favorite. It's all on clearance. It's autumn here now and they  are getting rid of all the summer clothes so I got those cheaper , so yay!

The mall I went to is a huge one.  Bigger than SM Cebu,I guess. I just went to the theater , checked the Gap and Old Navy and went home right away. I can't stay in the mall all day, so tiring and too many people. 

I'm now laying down, just recalling the whole Gravity experience. It was truly a nice one and I am captivated.

Surely, not my usual Saturday, but I enjoyed it.  

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Fighting Homesickness on a Budget

I do things alone, (yup, loner here!) and it gets lonely sometimes, but I found ways to combat loneliness and homesickness without breaking the bank and without succumbing to retail therapy ,aka shopping- the popular and expensive pastime of OFWs. 

Two places you would find me on my days off:

  • Library

New Arrival Section

OMG, I can't even begin to describe how grateful and lucky I am to be able to use this state of the art library! This library is one of the best and biggest in the country, and I feel so lucky and, at the same time, sad coz walang ganito sa pinas (but I still love'pinas!).

The local library is 3 miles away and whenever I am off from work, I would go to there and burn my time. I can stay there all day coz I can surely find something to do. I swear, this place has save me tons of moolah- entertainment wise. It has great selection of books , DVDs, magazines, audio books, graphic novels, ebooks , free wi-fi, free 2 hours computer usage, etc.. I thank this place for honing my personal finance knowledge. I am privileged enough to read different personal finance book for free. I've watched countless movies old and new, for free. I've borrowed tonsa books and ebooks,too! That's why, as much as possible, I give back by donating my used books to them and by being a responsible borrower.

I would surely miss this place.

  • Jogging/ Walking
These activities are ingrained within me. I feel so much alive after a long run or after hours of walking. I would walk everywhere for miles and miles. It's free, plus it is making me healthy.

One thing I would miss when I get home is the awesome jogging trail. The jogging trail is 4 miles but the whole park is 70+ acres of green space, park, picnic area ,tennis court, playground, cycling, etc.  The government is making ways to get people healthy by making jogging trail accessible and available to everyone. A trail with nature as I like to call it- I would surely miss this too, but I love pinas more.

Jogging trail in Spring

  • Blogging
It has been four months since I started blogging and I am enjoying it. I love connecting to other Filipino finance bloggers and read about ways to save money in the Philippines. Blogging has been my pastime as I am slowly getting Facebook out of my life. I remain anonymous that's why I love expressing myself through blogging. It really warms my heart when someone mentions me on their blogs or when someone  thinks I inspire them. Awwww moment indeed, and I do appreciate it.