Thursday, November 23, 2017

Term Insurance: Shopping Around Proposals and Quotes (Sunlife,AXA,PhilAm, Manulife)

Though I have been contributing regularly to my PhilHealth, I still would like to have another form of insurance and this brought me to research more about Term Insurance. 

Note: I talked to a lot of insurance agents and here's a thing I observed:

Female insurance agents: They talked and talked and pushed you to get VUL.

Male insurance agents: They are straight to the point. If you say you'd like to get a quote for term insurance, they'd give you what you want. PERIOD.

Personal Profile:

Age: 31
Non-smoker with no pre-existing medical condition

SUN Safer Life- 5 Year Renewable and Convertible Term

Face Amount: Php 1,000,000
1 to 5 years: Php 10,680 annually

Manulife YRT (Yearly Renewable and Convertible Term Insurance)

Face Amount: Php 5,000,000
Premium: 12,670 annually 

PhilAm Guardian 5

Coverage: 500,000
Accident and Health 1,500,000
with Medical Reimbursement  100,000

Premium (5 years): 8,171.47


The agent didn't send me the proposal via e-mail. I talked to him in person and AXA has the most expensive premium among the 4 insurance companies I've talked to. I was given a quote of Php 50,000 yearly. AXA's coverage is so extensive so I guess there's a price to pay for that. Personally, I think most of the things they covered are unnecessary for me. 

Final Thoughts: 

I haven't decided yet if I should get Term Insurance. I am researching about HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) and I will keep you posted once I gather more information about it.


Monday, November 20, 2017

Frugal Tip: Growing Food From Kitchen Scraps + Adobong Kangkong

I am not an expert urban gardener, but this I know for sure: You can always grow food no matter how small your space is. You can grow food on your windowsill or even your balcony.  Plus, you'll get immense  pleasure from seeing your small garden grow and getting food from it. 

Water Spinach or Kangkong grows like crazy in the tropics. A beginner urban gardener's plant. 

What's for dinner? Adobong Kangkong. Ingredients were all picked from my "garden"

Stark tending to some of our tomatoes

Lettuce, Garlic, Spring Onion, etc + My Little Helper

Adobong Kangkong and Spring Onion for Today's dinner 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Living Simply OR Earning More

"Living a simple, boring life OR earning more and experience finer things in life," I have been contemplating on that question for quite some time now and it makes me wonder, do we really have to choose between the two? Can we find a sweet spot? 

Life has gotten boring lately. I really want to travel more, but my budget won't allow me to do that. I want to buy a washing machine, but I don't have extra cash set aside for that. I want to install some blinds because even though my house faces an awesome view, the afternoon sun is killing me, but then again I don't have extra money for that.

You see, all of those things I want I can forego in the name of voluntary simplicity. I still want to take my daily afternoon nap. I still want to enjoy my time with my dogs. I enjoy my mornings with a cup of coffee in my hand while watching the sunrise. 

I am enjoying this simple, laid-back, slow life but I am still saving up for a washing machine. 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Why I Kicked My Little Brother Out and Where Is He Now...

I am a notorious "brother kicker". I kicked my eldest brother out because the relationship had become so toxic and it was beyond repair. I did everything I could. I explained it in one of my posts so feel free to dig it out. Two months ago, I kicked my youngest brother out because he didn't have work for almost a year, he stole my money in so many occasions and we just fight and fight almost everyday. I gave him an ultimatum "If you won't be able to find a job within a month, you have to leave the house". For a month, he was scrambling to find work and when a month came, I stood my ground and let him leave. He didn't beg at all, I cried secretly and was tremendously hurt by this whole situation, but I stood my ground. I gave him money and so off the little birdie went. 

Fast forward two months later, we saw each other yesterday. It was his birthday yesterday so I treated him dinner and Chatime and oh man how the little birdie has change a lot.... for the better. I am so, so proud of him.  He is now working and he is renting a room a stone's throw away from his work (IT Park). All is good for him and I couldn't be happier. 

Sometimes you got to do what you got to do no matter how emotionally hard it is. Life is a series of ups and downs, relationships get broken, some are worth repairing, others... well, it's best to just cut it for good.  You either remain to be a doormat or you give the doormat a little shaking. Most of the time, based on my experience, it's best to do the latter. 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017


I have been MIA, sorry. A lot of things got in the way, plus I'm just plain lazy. 

  • Sink got clogged. I spent a lot of money using chemical products (Liquid Sosa, lye, muriatic acid) but all of them weren't really successful in declogging my sink so I called the plumber and they took out my tiles. I found out that the pipe had a lot of oil that solidified. DON'T EVER DUMP OIL!
  • I went to Europe and back.
  • I kicked my younger brother out. He lies, steals and doesn't have a job. 
  • I hosted my first ever party and sleepover at home and as a minimalist, it was a tough thing.
  • I already put up my Christmas tree. 
  • Still teaching online.
  • Still going to the wet market, but I added Lander's on my list of go-to stores to buy necessities. 
  • Planning to see the Lion King Broadway show in Manila this March. 
  • Planning to go to Kenya by October, 2018 to see the great migration of animals and experience Safari. (Budget according to research: Php 150,000)

Nothing much has change, really. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Wet Market Friday + Current Prices of Gasul (LPG)

Note: I still have leftover veggies from last week (carrots, 2 sayote and cabbage). I heavily eat veggies these days since I completely changed my diet. Here's my previous diet. Now, I eat oatmeal for breakfast, salad for lunch and veggies with brown rice for dinner. I also eat banana for snacks. 

Note: I buy my lettuce and brown rice at the mall since parang walang lettuce and brown rice sa wet market. 

Note: Location of the Wet Market is in Lapu Lapu City, Mactan Cebu

VEGGIES: Php 148 ($2.93)

Ampalaya  Php 70 per kilo  ($1.38 per kilo)
Beans Php 35 per kilo  ($.69 per kilo)
Eggplant Php 40 per kilo ($.79 per kilo)
Potato Php 60 per kilo ($1.19 per kilo)
Onion (Sweet and Regular) Php 60 per kilo ($1.19 per kilo)
Cucumber Php 40 per kilo  ($.79 per kilo)

BANANA : Php 40 per kilo  ($.79 per kilo)
BREAD: Php 25  $.49 For Stark and Pepper's afternoon snacks
Dried Fish Php 100 per kilo $1.98 Got 1/2 kilo When cravings strike
Kakanin Php 25  $.49 Too bad hindi ko na naabutan ang cassava
Tilapia Php 120 per kilo $2.37  per kilo Got half a kilo 
Ground Pork Php 165 per kilo $3.26 per kilo Got Php 31.68
Chicken Drumstick Php 150 per kilo  $2.96 per kilo Got 26.70
EGGS Php 5 each $.10 each Got a dozen 

LPG (Gasul)

It took me six months to finish my gasulito and I just bought new one few days ago. The price of the gasulito refill six months ago was Php 453. 453/6 = Php 75.5 per month

Here are the current prices of 7kg Gasulito and 11 kg. Gasul : 

Gasulito (7kg):  Php 450 (refill) $8.89

Gasul (11 kg) : Php 647 (refill) $12.79  --- Php 1,875 (tank without fas) Php 37. 06

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Wet Market 2017 (Current Prices)

I have been going to the wet market for three weeks now and it made me realized how I miss going there. 

Here are the things I bought last week. Prices are written below.

Note: I still have eggplants, beans and other veggies from the last wet market trip so I just bought a bit this time.

VEGGIES: PHP 139 ($2.75)

Sayote Php 7 each  ($.14 each)
Tomato Php 60 per kilo ($1.19 per kilo)
Cabbage  Php 60 per kilo ($1.19 per kilo)
Cucumber Php 35 per kilo ($.69 per kilo)
Carrots Php 50 per kilo ($.99 per kilo)
Onion (I forgot the price)

FRUITS: PHP 200 ($3.95)

Banana (Lakatan) Php 50 per kilo ($.99 per kilo)  I bought Php 140
Avocado Php 60 per kilo ($1.19 per kilo)

FISH (Tilapia) Php 100 per kilo  ($1.98 per kilo)  I bought half a kilo

EGGS Php 5 each ($.10 each) I just re-purpose the SM egg container

Ground Pork  Php 215 per kilo ($4.25 per kilo) I only bought Php 30

Dish towel- 6 pcs for Php 100 ($1.98 for 6 pcs.)

Kakanin (Cassava) Php 25  ($.49) This one is very filling and this always serves as my lunch 

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.


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:



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.