Monday, February 25, 2008

A year and counting



Where to invest in 2008 and how to spot the scam, get out from debt, be rich and happy, and have a golden retirement, are the stories packed in MoneySense’s 1st year issue.

Also learn how Ricky Carandang, a former stockbrocker, is now regarded as one of the country’s top TV journalists, plus his tips on how you can filter the news from noise while making savvy investment decisions. Sought-after motivational speaker Francis Kong, meanwhile, writes about money as an attitude issue.

MoneySense – founded by veteran business and finance journalists with a combined 50 years of publishing experience – also has stories on what you need to know about bonds, online stock trading, and e-banks, plus go through romantic restaurant suggestions for Valentine’s, the 10 things to look for when laptop shopping, and tips for comparing 3G phones.

MoneySense is available in over 200 outlets nationwide. To learn more about the magazine, visit www.moneysense.com.ph. For subscriptions, contact 339-3361, 728-1073 or email info@moneysense.com.ph.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Many thanks

Arrived here Friday morning from Melbourne. My three weeks stay there was memorable - many thanks to those I met and made my stay truly worthwhile.

I wasn't able to see them all before I left on Feb. 14 (yes, left on the night of Valentine's, so imagine the bucketful of tears I cried then - OK, I'm exaggerating, but indeed I cried, and I don't know how Robin is able to put up with my being sentimental at times, hahaha). Hopefully, through here, I get to thank you all:

Carol and Bill, thanks for accommodating me in your lovely home;

Carol for attending to me at times I got sick, for the cooking lessons during the few times I lingered in your house's kitchen (the baked chicken with tomatoes and beans particularly, right?), for petting lessons about Bella (your home's adorable puppy that both of you didn't allow me to bring home, haha - fine as long as Robin can't take her to Cairns, hehehe);

Bill for assuring me I would be fine when I felt terribly ill, for letting me in on your views about the humankind's connection through a genetic finding, for gardening tips (growing tomatoes particularly), for having me a taste of your famed grilled specialties (lamb chops and sausages and rotisserie chicken);

Really thanks, also for the souvenir you gave me - the Pooped Puppies book which is here on my messy study table - it kept me company while waiting to board and it makes me smile every time I look at it - hope when I get another chance, I can finally take Bella home! (or should I fight that with Robin?) It was cool to be "second mommy" to Bella and yes, I'm saying here now, "wee wees outside!" Carol, hope you'll not tire yourself too much at school. Bill, more kitchens to sell!

Sid and Jacqui, thanks for your stories (about your cars particularly) and that Magpies' feeding lessons that Saturday afternoon in your charming place;

Sid, Robin said you bagged him a lot for me not seeing you and Jacqui before I left. I'm terribly sorry for that - Robin made cheese fondue for me hours before my flight, that's why, and I helped a bit mangling it (ooppss, sorry, "mahal"). Jacqui, thanks for calling to bid me goodbye, that was such a lovely and motherly gesture from you.

John and Nuch, thanks for inviting us for dinner the day before I left. Thanks much also for the card you gave me;

Nuch, thanks for allowing me mess your kitchen that night, hehe, kidding aside, thanks much for all the Thai dishes you whipped up! (And sorry for overfrying the fish cakes that Friday at Bill's and Carol's place). Like Robin says, the Thai restaurants amount to nothing compared with your cooking! Good luck on your English lessons there - hope you get more "A"s!

John, thanks for troubleshooting Robin's Internet connection one time I badly needed to use it. Thanks also for the lessons (the immigration lessons particularly, haha) about how you and Nuch are finally together. Regards to your mother and the rest of the family.

I wish all the best for you both, and I look up to you, John and Nuch - that despite the distance that separated you before, you two surpassed the challenges and are finally together.

Robyn and Tim, thanks for sharing your stories about your experiences in the Philippines; Robyn, thanks also for attending to me when I got migraine there at the holiday house; Tim, thanks for chatting with me, telling me stories in particular about your stay here in my country.

Collin, thanks for the times I'm chatting with you - hope you get the job!

Grevel, Collin, and your daughters - it was nice to meet you and dine with you that Sunday. All the best to your family.

And of course, my trip would not be possible if not for you, Robin:

Thanks for patiently waiting for me to get there - I knew I stalled your plans at that....

Thanks for picking me up at the airport and surprising me with those cute, sweet doughnuts on my first few hours there!

Thanks for enduring the public transport there every time we went out.

Thanks for accompanying me in searching for Catholic churches, and for the funny experience we had in thinking St. Paul's Cathedral was a Catholic church, only to find out later that day it was Anglican!

Thanks for preparing all those dishes - carbonara, bolognese, katsu, curry, cheese fondue, toasts, bacon, and eggs for brunch - and yes, adobo - the best-tasting I ever had so far (and yes, I'm ashamed an Australian was able to deliciously cook that for a Filipino like me, hehehe).

Thanks for touring me there and introducing me to all culinary delights you were able to find for us - and for giving in, on occasions, for my need to have my doughnut fix, haha.

Thanks for having me as passenger in your classic Chrysler car - hoping it's all systems go for a smooth and safe drive for you to Cairns.

Thanks for getting me new headset for my iPod as Valentine's gift - I was really surprised you got me that - I'm sorry though I wasn't able to get you a gift - promise, I'll give you my belated present next time we get together.

Thanks for driving me to the airport, for putting up with my intermittent crying on while on our our way, and while we're exchanging goodbyes at the airport (on a Valentine's night at that) - sorry for the copious tears - I was leaving and regretting that the three weeks we got to spend flew by just like that.

Thanks for getting me Krispy Kreme and cafe latte also at the airport, cheered me up a bit while counting the hours before I board the plane back here.

Thanks for spending much of your time with me while I'm there - for all the attention and care and love.

Thanks for letting me meet your best mates - getting to know them, interacting with them, and for me knowing you through your interactions with them.

Thanks for understanding me at times when I was indifferent or I chose to be invisible, or appeared to be too complex at that.

Overall, thanks, Robin for having me, and you now being very much a part of my life.

The trip was an occasion for me to get to know you better, and I'm all the more resolved now to get to know you more, understand you better, and love you fully, as long as I'm allowed.

The distance is shit for now, but like you, I'm hoping for the best for us this year.

I'm fully supporting your plans and that while we're away from each other for the time being, I'm really hoping for the best for us - I'll be good for you and I'll wait for you, will pray for the success of your plans, and work for "our" plans for "us."

I hope to be with you again, the soonest time possible (and hopefully, like you said, we'll be together for good), and again, thanks very much for the experience to be with you there - in your country, in the company of the people you treasure most.

Mahal na mahal kita, Robin, many thanks.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Posting from Melbourne; coming home soon

Finally, I'm now with my mahal here in Melbourne.

I arrived here January 24 - not only I'm spending time with Robin, but I'm meeting his best mates, getting a chance to know them, as well as knowing more about my fiance through their stories and how they all interact together.

I thought January 24 to February 15 would be a long time to spend with Robin after not being together for more than two months.

But time is running fast, and next week, I'm coming home.

I know my life is still in the Philippines, but I'm feeling the pain of being away again from my mahal.

In the meantime, I guess I just have to enjoy whatever time I have with him, and brave the SMS, calls, and MSN chat once we'll be parted again.

I'm really hoping all things will be good for us this year, so we can be truly together soonest....

Article - Cooperatives: alternatives for those who need cash

Cooperatives: alternatives for those who need cash
From content sharing of inquirer.net and MoneySense

By Lynda C. Corpuz
MoneySense
First Posted 09:59:00 01/28/2008


Strapped for cash? Banks offer various products for those who need cash – personal, home, business, or auto loans. There are also salary loans from the Government Service Insurance System and the Social Security System. But apart from banks or government institutions, cooperatives or “coops” are also alternatives for those who need cash.

Coops are duly registered organizations of persons with a common interest who voluntarily group together to make required equitable contributions, and accept a fair share or benefits and risks in its endeavors (under RA 6938 or the Cooperative Code of the Philippines). Through a coop, you pool finances and talents to build capital, produce goods, raise incomes, and tap loans at lower interest rates than borrowing from informal lenders or users.

Here are things to remember about joining—and borrowing money from a coop:

You join voluntarily. There are five kinds of coops: credit promotes thriftiness and creates funds to grant productivity loans; consumer procures for and distributes commodities to member and non-members; producer undertakes agricultural or industrial joint production; service engages in medical and/or dental care, hospitalization, transportation, insurance, housing, labor, electric and light power, communication, among other services; and multipurpose, combines two or more of the business activities of different coop types.

Your share is limited. As per coop principles reformulated in 1966 in Vienna, by the 23rd Congress of the International Cooperative Alliance, a member’s share is limited to prevent domination of the coop’s affairs by affluent members.

You share in the surplus or savings. The coop is designed to distribute surplus equally, again, so no member will gain at the expense of another. Surplus, upon agreement, are used to develop the coop’s business interest and provide common services to members. This will also help a coop avoid bad debts to stabilize its operations and assure its growth.

You can get training. It trains members to avoid lack of understanding of the principles, aims, and purposes of the coop; improper credit use (borrowers in rural areas are known to spend borrowed money for fiestas or luxuries). It also educates those who are interested in the principles and techniques of a coop.

You can get loans – and help an organization grow. A coop is touted to be founded for a noble purpose – even Jose Rizal, while exiled in Dapitan, established a community school and a coop store. Proponents of cooperatives hope to attract members with loans, as well as the mental and emotional rewards of supporting a helping organization’s existence or preventing its failure.

(This article is from MoneySense, the country’s first and only personal finance magazine. Visit www.moneysense.com.ph for more.)