Thursday, November 27, 2008

Article - Finding your greener pasture

Finding your greener pasture
Lynda C. Corpuz
October 02, 2008
From content sharing of and MoneySense

Aside from knowing what the current hot jobs, top destinations and opportunities in the overseas employment market are, it is equally important to consider the following factors when looking for your own greener pasture.

Research and paperwork. You want to make sure your destination of choice welcomes foreign workers, particularly your skill and work experience. Find out about the country where you want to work. Know if you need to secure a working permit or visa, or a residency visa. Contact the nearest embassy.

Scour the Web to give you an idea of the paperwork you will need to complete. Completing papers is time-consuming, and on occasion, nerve-wracking.

What you want to and can do. Others go abroad and hop from one casual job to another, like bar tending or shop keeping.

Before you jump on that plane, list down all your skills and work experience, and check if your preferred country is looking for foreign workers with your skill set.

Right now, there is a demand for jobs on cruise liners, hotel and food services, construction, education, and healthcare, according to the book “Finding Work Abroad: A step-by-step guide.”

Web power. It is easier to search for overseas jobs through the Internet. Job portals like,, and other similar Web sites post job vacancies and accept resumés. You can also check online editions of newspapers abroad that also post vacancies.

Be cautious, however, of bogus Web sites by illegal recruiters that victimize people by collecting placement fees for non-existent jobs, warns Carlos Canaberal, Philippine Overseas and Employment Administration (POEA) planning and policy division chief. POEA, through its Web site, can also help you check if there are available jobs in the country of your choice.

You can search for jobs according to position, country, and agency as disclosed by licensed recruitment agencies that have had job orders in the last two years. Carlos, however, reminds job seekers: “It’s important that an applicant verifies with the agency if the job order is still active or not.”

Apart from local employment agencies, you can also contact international recruitment agencies, or those specializing in the jobs you want. If you already have a company in mind in the country of your choice, apply through its Web site, send the necessary requirements, and be prompt in answering e-mails (mostly pertaining to your suitability to work abroad, like if you have a passport and visa).

Additional qualifications. Getting qualified or gaining additional skills will be handy if you seek employment abroad. For instance, passing TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is now not only required for non-native applicants at many English-speaking colleges and universities, but even at government agencies and companies, so you might as well take the test.

Alternatively, consider TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), which you could do while waiting for the job you really want.

Active networking. If you know anyone in your country or city of choice, ask their advice and assistance to get a good picture of living and working there. Expatriate Filipinos are generally helpful, and they generally can help, like in introducing you to employment contacts.

Once you’ve settled in, be generous also in extending assistance to those who might need your help.

The cost of moving and working abroad. On top of work-related expenses, factor in the initial outlay you will need for accommodation. On top of sending money back to your family in the Philippines, you should always have an amount reserved for yourself, like for a flight home just in case you realize living and working overseas is not for you after all.

Market rates. We picked the top three destinations based on the most number of deployments per the POEA’s latest available figures (from January 1 to March 31, 2007), and these are Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and North America (Canada and the United States).

Per country, you’ll find a sampling of jobs and the average salary. Click on this link for the table.

(Also posted in the Global Nation section of last October 21, 11:14:00)

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

Article - How to improve security at home

How to improve security at home

By Lynda C. Corpuz
First Posted 09:47:00 09/11/2008
From content sharing of and MoneySense

While you may have a home alarm fully installed, there is no absolute way to prevent your house from being burglarized. There are precautions though that could improve security in your home.

Survey your home. Have a family member or a trusted neighbor or friend look around your house for potential areas of break-in, as they could spot areas that you could have overlooked. Do this at least twice a year to minimize potential of theft and other security risks. Return the favor and survey your neighbor’s or friend’s house as well.

Don’t flaunt what you have. If you just bought new appliances or gadgets like videogame consoles, computers, or laptops, or other items for your home, and are ready to discard the boxes or packages of those, don’t just throw them out. It might be laborious, but take time to cut or fold them neatly inside black garbage bags to avoid giving any clues to reconnoitering burglars.

Make sure also that none of your valuables, like that flat screen TV that you might just have bought with your credit card, are visible from your living room windows.

Mark your valuables. Having permanent markers, like serial numbers, a driver’s license number, or some unique mark, will aid in tracing your valuables if these are stolen. Burglars often sell their stolen goods to supplement their vices, and such markings further depreciate their selling value. Who knows? The stolen item could even find its way back to you.

Document. Pan a video camera in each room and record its contents. Take close-ups of truly important items. Have a family member pose with the valuables and clearly identify each item, like the purchase date, acquisition value, model, and serial number. Update your tape every time you have a new item as this will serve as your inventory in case a break-in happens and you need to itemize those items for police records.

Have a security video camera installed. Wireless home security cameras or videos offer both indoor and outdoor benefits. Transmitted directly to your computer or cell phone, you will be able to see whether a prowler is lurking, or how your yaya is looking after your kids.

Avoid dead giveaways. Closing the curtains only when you’re not home, no garbage collection, an untidy lawn and garden, unpicked newspapers and other mails, unanswered phone calls, and unattended deliveries are sure giveaways your house is empty. Before you leave for long absences, make arrangements to avoid these pitfalls and kindly ask your neighbors or friends to occasionally check on your house.

Don’t forget your keys. Avoid keeping door keys under the mat or above the doorjamb, as these are the first places a thief will choose to look at when breaking in. Don’t hang keys on holders near windows, as professional thieves are simply given an easy opportunity to break in. While you may trust your friend or neighbor, don’t give extra keys to them as an extra precaution.

Vary your schedule. Most organized burglars follow their victim’s routine, so they would know when you’re away or not. Alter your departure and arrival as much as possible to prevent establishing a routine. Also, the adage “don’t talk to strangers” holds true -- never chat about leaving your home, or unwittingly spill to a stranger your schedule.

Have your best friend around. Your dog is another best bet against intruders. Truly a man’s best friend, your pet’s menacing bark will scare away burglars. Choose a dog that barks at strangers; a noisy dog attracts attention, something that burglars don’t want. If you don’t have a dog, there’s nothing deceitful in hanging a “Beware of Dog” sign, or having a dog house in your backyard, or a loose chain or bowl – these too can discourage would-be intruders.

Alert authorities. The Philippine National Police often advises homeowners to alert their neighborhood police or barangay officials if they’ll be away for an extended period. Subdivisions often have a neighborhood watch to patrol the vicinity so inform them as well to give additional surveillance in your house and your area.

Make sure your home is secure. Have a fully functional home security system especially when your house will be vacant for a long time. If you have none, consider purchasing one before leaving. Comparison shop and choose the vendor that can offer you security within your budget.

There are good systems currently in the market that includes a warning door decal, a motion sensor, siren and keypad, a control unit, and 24-hour monitoring for just P1,200 a month for a service contract minimum of 36 months).

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

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

16 (12 years ago)

"So...16 today?"

That was my fiance's greeting to me (after his cheery "happy birthday, munchkin!") I laughed hard with my fiance's greetings - 16, wow.

So far, so good for today:

Got greetings in advanced, thank you all. And for the presents, too:

Hot and spicy tuna rolls ready; mommy prepared mango float already. Waiting if my little brother will get me something, (haha, assuming)

My mahal told me to get a "little present" for myself - I wonder what though...

Might avail of a facial spa later (if I don't get stuck at work, that is).

A PR friend, Edwin Galvez, arranged a spa trip for me in Tagaytay next Wednesday; shame he will not be able to join, and a former editor of mine back in the newspaper. I still have to inform the gracious spa owners if I'm pushing through or not (it's not "fun" to be there alone, that's my concern)...

Got also a gift card from a bank (good thing it's a prepaid card, so even if it's Visa, there's no risk [or minimal risk] for me to splurge)

= = = = =
When I was 16, all that mattered to me was to keep my honor status in high school, and win every competition I was joining in; being 28 now means more concerns to deal with - staying on top of everything; improving finances; fulfilling my familial duties.

I'm blessed to still be around - especially a "shitty" 2008 for me so far....

I have one "simple" wish though that I've been wishing since last year - to be with my beloved for good.

We're kind of affected by the money crisis going on, so we're still afar and not yet married (when he asked me last year to marry him, I wasn't emotionally ready; now that I am, our finances are not, so we're kind of slowing down about tying the knot anytime soon....)

If I'm with him now, all I want for this day is to have nasi goreng and gyoza for our lunch, pizza for our dinner, and a movie date to squeeze in. He remarked earlier that was "simple" compared with what I did on his birthday last June - I "told" the whole wide world of his birthday and asked for greetings for him!

And yes, we will have that nasi goreng and gyoza (he promised to make some for us, yahoo) and a movie date, hopefully, on my next birthday. Makes me like I'm 16 again, giggling on the thought I'll get to spend my birthday with my beloved (last year, he left the Philippines six days before my birthday....)

Anyway, 16 was before; being 28 now, I'm up to a whole new set of challenges. I just need to be stronger and strengthen my faith that I can do all the best things possible for the people who believe in me, for my family, for my husband-to-be, and for myself at that.

= = = = =
For those celebrating their birthdays today like me, happy birthday to us all! For those who are curious what kind of personality we have those born on this date, here's a peek:

From November 12 birthday astrology:
November 12 Scorpios possess a dual nature and may be perceived as a "saint" or "sinner." Their penetrating intelligence is almost unnerving because it seems able to decipher the others' motives. They are loners, yet they have a magnetic personality. They can use their appeal to manipulate, though they risk alienating others if they do.

Scorpio Information for November 12
You should embrace: Enchantment, self-reliance, devotion
You should avoid: Unkindness, selfish motives, vindictiveness

Friends and Lovers
November 12 men and women arouse strong feelings -- people either like them or dislike them. They have a hard time trusting others. Although passionate, they may have periods of self-inflicted celibacy. They are happiest in a relationship that allows physical and spiritual intimacy.

Children and Family
As with almost everything else, November 12 people find that family life is a study in extremes. They take the lessons of childhood into their adult life. They may have difficulty showing their children affection. This generally becomes easier as the children get older.

November 12 people require emotional and spiritual motivation to feel good about themselves. If they are unhappy, they may seek relief in food, drink, or drugs. If they can get interested in a workout routine, they are likely to become fixated on it, rather than on bad habits.

Career and Finances
These men and women are ambitious and eager to prove that they have what it takes to be successful. Because they don't really get along well with others, they do best in a career that rewards solitary accomplishment. They are often careless with money. This could be the result of indifference or a lack of financial training.

Dreams and Goals
People born on this date want their talents recognized. They often possess great sensitivity in this area and are caught between wanting their dreams to come true and feeling certain they won't. When they're feeling good about themselves, they can accomplish amazing things. They simply need to believe in their own abilities.