Thursday, May 19, 2011

Exploding Watermelons in China


This is definitely something that I do NOT want ending up on our plate!
I don't get it and I don't want to start getting it! I hope people learn their
lesson and stop overdoing it with the chemicals.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Philippines is the Social Networking Capital of the World

Image courtesy of Nations Online

According to 24/7 Wall St., The Philippines is the Social Networking Capital
of the World!

Im sure this comes to no surprise for most Pinoys. I'm probably not the only one
to notice a decrease in emails and sms, and an increase in Facebook posts from
friends. How about hanging out with friends? I think that has gone down
too --- people don't bother to meet up as much because the latest news is on
Facebook for all to see.

Facebook is actually quite useful. You have to understand, most, if not all Pinoys
know at least one person who has moved to another province or another country
(any OFW reading this???). Relationships are highly valued in Filipino culture. Thus,
it is only normal that we Filipinos find ways to connect to family and friends. Thank
you Facebook for making things a lot easier for us.

However, bragging rights aside, we Filipinos just have to be careful that we're not
overdoing all this. Sure, Facebook is a great means of communicating with others.
But let's not allow Facebook to hamper our personal and professional lives. It's
important that we strike a balance between our online and offline activities.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Be Gentle

Image courtesy of lrargerich

- "In the field of child development, discipline refers to methods of modeling 
character and of teaching self-control and acceptable behavior." - Wikipedia

Since day one, we've encouraged M to be gentle with people. M is allowed
to rough up his toys as much as he pleases but with people, he knows  
enough to be gentle. 

Our small successes:
- When M was a newborn, I would tell him while BF, "Be gentle." I'm proud
to say that M has only bit me twice.
- When M was a few months old, I would allow him to touch my face. I
would always say, "Be gentle." I'm happy to say M never got into the 
habit of hitting people.
- When M was more than a year old and hitting could have turned into 
a way of venting out frustration, M remembered that he should be gentle
with his cousins.
- Just this weekend, at 1 year 3 mo.s, M sat beside Lola C, his 90+ yr 
old great-great-grand ma, and gently caressed her arm. Yup, 1 chalk up
for being gentle.

"Be Gentle" is a simple, loving and age appropriate way for us to teach M
discipline. We're starting young because good habits don't just happen overnight;
good habits need to be developed over time. I hope this encourages you to
discover simple, loving and age appropriate ways to teach discipline to your

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Microsoft Buys Skype for $8.5B

Oh my gosh! Just read the news, Microsoft Buys Skype for $8.5Billion.
I will definitely be on the look out for news on Microsoft's plans for Skype.

You have to understand, H and I use Skype everyday. Why? First, because
it's free. Second, because the quality of one's conversation tremendously
improves when it's a face to face communication. I've noticed that OFWs
who use Skype have better family relationships than those who only use
audio communication. 

I'm oh so hoping that Microsoft's plans for Skype include retaining the free
plan. I guess it's now a game of wait and see.

How to Praise a Child

Image courtesy of Kneff Photography

Did you know that when it comes to praising --- you can have too much of 
a good thing? 

I'm sure you've heard parents and teachers say this one too many times, 
"Great job!" Heck, I do this too! However, if not done properly, adults
could be producing "praise addict" children. A praise addict child is one
that needs constant praise. This can turn into an insecurity when pleasing
others becomes the child's main motivation. The need for praise can become
a hindrance for learning when the child avoids challenging activities because
he/she feels the outcome will not be praised.

Let me emphasize that nobody is contesting the need to praise a child. 
Instead, we're being asked to reconsider the way we praise a child. Aha!

Back then, we were told that a child should be affirmed of his/her innate 
goodness. The child is praised for a job well done --- "Great job!" This is
to emphasize that being a good person and accomplishing a task well are
two independent things.

Nowadays, parents and adults are encouraged to help a child appreciate
what he/she has accomplished. "Start by focusing on what a child is doing 
rather than how you you feel about what the child is doing." - Teach Preschool

Here are some examples:
- When a child asks, "Do you like my painting?" turn it back to the child 
and ask him/her, "What do you like about your painting? or ask him/her 
to describe what they like about their painting to other children
- When a child asks, "Do you like my tower?" get the child to discuss the 
process of making it, "How did you make that tower?"
- Describe by stating the details you observed, for example,"You decided 
to use green paint", "You started at the top of the paper"
- Focus on the process rather than the end result, for example letter grade, 
"What did you have to do to get that grade?" "How does getting that grade 
make you feel?"
- Acknowledge a child by stating what they have done, "Look how you are 
climbing up the ladder?" "I remember when you could not kick, now you 
can kick. Kick this box". - Dan Hodgins

Hmmm, I know it sounds a bit like extra work. However, it's nothing more
than just paying attention to the child and what he/she is doing. Aha! That
is something we really should be doing. 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Proudly Pinoy - Congratulations Manny Pacquiao!

Image courtesy of Reuters

I've never watched an entire Manny Pacquiao fight. I know it's sounds unpatriotic.
Sorry, I just don't have the stomach for all that pain. I take a peek here and there and
then I look away. I'm quite content waiting for the final outcome.

Congratulations Manny Pacquiao! Happy Mother's Day Aling Dionisia! 

Friday, May 6, 2011

5 Ways to Enjoy Your Money

Yesterday, I gave a short sharing on Variable Life Insurance. By doing so, I
touched a sensitive chord for some of you. A good many Filipinos loathe the
word insurance. Why? Insurance forces you to think about death --- not a very
pleasant topic. Did you know that Traditional Life Insurance is a noble thing?

It will financially help those you leave behind. However, if you prefer
to hear practical over noble, Variable Life Insurance just might interest you.

So what makes Variable Life Insurance different from Traditional Life
Traditional Life Insurance is purely money set aside for your family.
While Variable Life Insurance has an insurance component and an investment
component. The insurance portion ensures that your family will be getting
money in case of your demise.  The investment component ensures that you
have a source of funds; the value of which is based on the investment
performance of the insurance company. Think of it as you using the insurance
company to be your broker.

Here are the different reasons H and I have availed of different Variable Life
Insurance plans. Better yet, think of it as ---

5 Ways to Enjoy Your Money:

1. Education Fund
- If you have a child, you've probably thought about your child's college
education. Sadly for some parents, it has moved from 'What's the best school
for our child' to 'What's the school we can afford'. The tuition fee costs are
really no joke! Thus, expect H and I to use one Variable Life Insurance
policy for M's university school fees.

2. Retirement Fund
- One day we just might decide to go into teaching, mission work, community
development, farming, etc There may or may not be money in these endeavours.
But we don't want money to be a hindrance to doing what we want to do. So,
we can use another Variable Life Insurance for day to day expenses.

3. Renovation Fund
- We've seen it happen. Old houses that suffer neglect because their owners
did not set aside money for their maintenance and upkeep. We told ourselves
we want to be able to renovate our home when the time comes to do so.
Where's the money going to come from? You guessed right, another Variable
Life Insurance.

4. Bucket List Fund
- H and I haven't decided on this yet. As advocates of simple living, we've 
trimmed down our wants list. There are fewer things on the list --- but
they've actually turned into Precious Few. Top of mind: a trip around the world! 

5. Emergency Fund
- This is the fund that we hope we never have to use. If we had our way, we'd
be strong and healthy until we're old. Calm, peaceful and while asleep sounds
like a good way to go. But if we ever needed funds for something, we'll surely
be glad there's money kept away for that.

I'm sure you can think of other ways to enjoy your money. Remember that
it's free to dream! As for living the dream, that's even better. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

3 Things You REALLY Should Know About Money

This special delivery really put a big smile on my face. My Variable Life
Insurance Policy is finally fully-paid! I am a strong advocate of getting 
Variable Life Insurance because I think it is one of the most useful finance 
products on the planet. Before you start thinking INSURANCE?!?, please 
read further and then decide.

A few years ago, I was a Financial Consultant of PRU Life UK. It was a 
one year stint but the lessons learned there were priceless! 

I know there are a lot of Finance Gurus out there. I am NOT one of them. 
I am just sharing with you my experiences in the hopes that it will help 
you secure your own financial future.

3 Things You REALLY Should Know About Money:

1. You REALLY have to prepare for retirement.
If you're in your 20s or 30s, I'm sure you'll agree with me that life is all 
hustle and bustle. But once you hit 40, you're suddenly faced with the 
reality that 60 is a real age and that you just have 20+ good years left 
to set aside funds for retirement. 
When I say retirement I don't mean lying in bed to vegetate. I mean being 
kind to yourself, getting out of the rat race and finally pursuing those 
interests that you still wish to pursue. If you don't prepare for retirement, 
you will find yourself still needing to work. Or worse not being able to do 
what you should already be doing.

2. You REALLY want to have your own money in your golden years.
I've seen it happen. Friends who delay getting married because they have 
to financially support their parents. Im sure their parents did not do this 
on purpose. No parent in their right mind would delay their children's 
happiness --- nor jeopardize their own... 

Yes, that's the other side of the coin. When you become financially dependent 
on someone, you unknowingly give that person a certain degree of authority 
over you. Your every purchase just might get scrutinized. You just accept 
the "well meaningreminders" because you need financial help.

It's a difficult situation. Yet, so many Filipinos are in this predicament 
because people accidentally forgot and / or ignored advices to establish 
adequate funds for the future.

3. You REALLY can create a better life for your family.
Most successful married couples that I know share this one trait: husband 
and wife have goals that they are trying to achieve together. A lot of 
planning, communication and effort goes into making goals happen. Having 
goals serve as a deterrent for idle time. Really important as boredom can 
produce not so smart ideas. Also, having goals requires you and your 
husband to go go go do something. 

If I look at what H and I have accomplished and still hope to accomplish,
I am proud of the small victories we've had with our entrepreneurial projects.
Sure, we've had our own share of glitches. We just had to learn and move 
on. Just a suggestion, be wary of people who give great advice but magically 
never made any mistakes in their life. That'll be a first. Oh yes, I am also 
excited for the things that we have yet to do. Better things are still on their 

3 Things You REALLY Should Know About Money are 3 reasons 
that encouraged me to get a Variable Life Insurance Policy and most 
importantly to complete the payments.

In my succeeding post, allow me to share with you my other experiences 
with Variable Life Insurance.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

TED talk Arvind Gupta: Turning Trash Into Toys for Learning

Video courtesy of TED

Last week, I talked about 3 Ways of Getting Affordable Toys. Some of
you were not impressed: "You have a 1year plus toddler". Fine fine.

Today, allow me to introduce to you Arvind Gupta, an Indian Toy
Inventor who turns trash into toys. Do not knock it 'til you've tried it.
Arvind Gupta's toys are something else. The toys are simple enough
to make. It's what the toys can do that are amazing.

It makes you wonder, why hasn't anyone in the country thought about
something like this?

In case you're serious about trying out Arvind's toys, here are some links
to help you get started:
- Arvind Gupta's book: Low Cost Equipment for Science and Technology
  Education free pdf
- Arvind Gupta's Free Films
- Arvind Gupta's YouTube channel

Monday, May 2, 2011

Starbucks Happy Hour

I just heard --- Starbucks Philippines wants to help us beat the summer heat
with their ice cold Frappuccino!

Your favorite Frappuccino is available at half-price only this May 2 - 8, 2011
from 12:00nn to 2:00pm.

This had better be true! Plan to grab a Mocha Frappuccino later :D

World Bloggers' Day 2011 - May 2 at SM Cyberzone (SM Cubao)

I’m Celebrating World Bloggers’ Day 2011
Theme: The Roles of Bloggers

Initiated by Cebu Bloggers Society, Inc.

Later today, I'll be joining other Manila bloggers in celebrating World Bloggers' Day.
The Manila leg will be at SM Cyberzone, SM Cubao (located at the basement),
1:00-6:00pm, organized by the hard-working Azrael Coladilla.

World Bloggers' Day was started last year by the Cebu Bloggers Society. Yes, it has
a strong Filipino following; but World Bloggers' Day is slowly gaining international
appeal. The Philippines does have a strong blogging community.

The 2011 World Bloggers' Day theme is The Roles of Bloggers. Quite timely as
there was some controversy awhile back on the Manila blogging community. At
that time, bloggers were being accused of being Big-Bad-Bullies. Then again, this
could all have been a case of print media black propaganda???

Lots of hoopla but no follow through. I'm just thankful that the blogging community
is past that. The focus really should be on providing quality content to the readers.
That's just my humble opinion.

Check out World Bloggers' Day for more details.