2014

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Yah, it is the New Year again (well it has been for about 7 days already). It has been 2014 years after the Romans invented the Gregorian calendar that we use today (was just curious how really old is the earth with this statement)

Year after year, we do a flashback of what we’ve been through the previous year. We say thank you to the people who have been part of that year. We smile at the good and the bad times and even the angry times as if it was written in the book under the 2013 chapter in the book called life.

After looking back at the year that has past, we look forward to the future. We busy ourselves with researching over what Feng Shui experts are saying about our Chinese Zodiac sign. We take note of the month in which we need a lucky charm either to avoid health, career, or love issues.

Again year after year, we try to come up with a list of things to do or goals per se. And year after year, we watch to see these lists of goals get ticked off one by one or more often(for me that is), it remains what it is: A LIST. Nothing more nothing less.

Fortunately, for me I was able to tick some from my list last 2013.

  1. Quasi-independence

Yes! I did sort of left my parents coop last January 2013. Just celebrated my anniversary as a quasi independent bloke earlier this January! Yey me!

My parents allowed me last January to go and rent a place with two roommates whom I’ve known from college (I know them about 7 years now). This was after a LONG discussion with them. I wanted them to realize that I will eventually leave the coop sooner or later like every kid does when they grow up. I was firm with what that so I guess they wanted me to give it a try with the hopes I’d return to them after a few months. But I was able to stick it out despite them urging me to return home from time to time.

This idea was one of my goals when I reached 25. It took me a year before I executed it. Mainly because I was not ready yet financially but when I was, I took the risk.

Now you may ask why the word “quasi”? Well, it is because I still return to our home every Friday night and leave Sunday night. We Filipinos definitely have strong family ties and of course, there is really no place like home right?

2. New employment

I’ve been with my previous company (IT distribution) for 5 years. YES 5 years! It was enough for me to call our office my second home, my colleagues as brothers and sisters and my boss a second father. Was given the opportunity to climb also the corporate ladder, so that company is dear to me.

But I again, at age 25 (there must be really something about turning 25 that makes you decide on BIG changes on your life, eh?), I hit a quarter life crisis and decided to make a career suicide. Yup, was willing to throw away 5 years experience in the IT industry to start a new career from scratch. I would not consider it as a stupid move back but one step closer to my dream. Well, that was I told myself but in reality I didn’t know what I wanted. One thing was sure though, I wanted change.  I told my boss about my plans as respect to him. After him wishing me luck, I started looking around.  Among applications and interviews that I went through, I got close to securing a job in Acer and Levis (very different industries right?). These two were the ones that I really wanted but I guess it wasn’t for me because I made booboos at crucial points. Especially during the final interview for the Levis post. Argh! Won’t go in to details any more.

But one faithful call came and I said I’ll show up for the interview. But unfortunately, the schedule was along side with two other interviews. Well, I made it through one, I ditched one to get to the last one. I was surprised because the country head was the one to interview me. And before I left the country head’s office, I have an offer to think about already. The following day I said yes. After rendering a month (it was very emotional month particularly the last week and the last day), VIOLA, I work for a travel network already as a business development guy.

3. TRAVEL!

The call of wanderlust is strong with me. It’s really addicting ever since my trip to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur to celebrate my 26th birthday last 2012.

Ever since that first out of the country trip, I decided to have at least one out of the country trip yearly. And if my wallet permits it, a trip to a local destination.

I was able to do both! Well, a more appropriate scene would me saying “YEY!” and my wallet saying “$@^%@^#&$%!” LOL.

Was able to visit the beautiful island of Bohol in Visayas with my good friends last August. It was a blast! We saw the old coral stone churches before they were destroyed by the strong earthquake. The beaches were just divine. I have to stop myself from enjoying lest I won’t leave the island at all. It was SO serene and beautiful.

If I was Ann Curtis, I would buy a house, its beach front and the island over there in Bohol! LOL.

The out of the country trip was the most awaited. I booked it October 2012 and was scheduled to leave October 2013 (yeah, I book THAT ahead of time). Originally it was supposed to be a solo trip but I changed my mind and invited friends to come along/ and 7 answered the call but 6 made it to the beautiful city of Hanoi, Vietnam! Read all about it on my other post: <insert link>

I honestly searched deep down in the hopes to look for two more achievements so that the total would reach 5 but unfortunately, that is just about it LOL. On the bright side, I least I ticked off three items from my list right? It’s better than nothing anyway.

Now 2014, I don’t know what will happen to me. Maybe I’ll succeed in the travel industry (well, that is my plan) or maybe I’ll die (yes, I’m morbid). Well only God knows. I’ll just live, work, and enjoy what it would offer no matter if it goes against or in my favor.

Flippin’ out!

Xin Chao Vietnam! Day 2: Cold of Autumn

Since we all shocked ourselves with walking several miles the previous day, we all sluggish the morning after. But we still woke up just in time to catch breakfast. And to see one of our friend be picked-up by his tour to another location. We had to see him out as we will be also travelling to the mountains of Sapa that night.

It was raining by the time we got out. We had to borrow umbrella from the hotel. It was almost 12 noon already as we got out. The plan was to go see the Water Puppet Show, which was described as a must-see show. As usual we had to walk to get there.

While walking we passed by a Springfield store and we decided to walk in and fortunately enough for us, the store was on sale up to 70%! Tempting as it may be I decided not to buy anything but two from our group walked away with jackets.

We got the theater to find a long line for the next show. Ticket costs around VND 60000 if I’m not mistaken. The theater is next to a coffee shop where we stayed, had dessert while deliberating if we will watch it. I personally didn’t want to see the show since I would be able to understand the story. The group decided to not to see the show and head on over to the Opera  House. In the Philippines, we don’t have Opera Houses but we do have convention centers that we can perform operas.

On the way there, we walked to this ice cream store which I forgot the name. Despite sort of freezing in the rain, we each ordered a scoop of this Vietnamese ice cream. For me it has a hint of coconut. Each scoop was about VND 10000 which flavors of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry.

We got to the Opera House but unfortunately it was closed. I would have loved to see the interiors. But then we have to move on.

Next on the itinerary was the Vietnam History Museum which was right across the Opera House. Outside we a long line of tuk-tuks. Entrance is VND 20000. The tour starts at the 2nd floor. Majority of the museum are black and white photos of scenes of the past as well as some antique items showing the road of independence and struggle of the Vietnamese people as well as how the North and South was united. A really interesting museum.

It was about 5 pm when finished but what we have on mind was our train ride to Lao Cai to get to Sapa. We have arranged this with May de Ville Hostel when we got back from day 1. They were kind enough to assist us in booking the tickets in advance. Ticket cost was around USD 45 if I remember correctly. We got the tickets before we left the hostel this morning. I was informed by the Sales Manager Manh Tieh something about the tickets which I didn’t understand. I thought we just have to go to the station and present the ticket. But I was wrong again!

We got to the Ga Ha Noi at 7 pm as we plan to have dinner nearby. We decided to get the tickets. The man in the train station said that we had to pick-up the tickets at another location. My heart sank! But it was a good thing we were able to determine that the pick up point was a few minutes away from the train station despite being bombarded by taxi drivers saying that they can get us there and saying that it is far but in reality, they would have to go around to get to the location. Be firm! They can be pushy, really.

Wait, let me rant some more on what happened with the tickets. I was really sorry about the miscommunication. But I felt harassed by all the people who were trying to help. I know that they were only trying to help but I hope they have let us decide first on what to do rather than push us to do it their way. End of rant.

The rest of us went to Lotteria for dinner when two of us searched for the location. We had to walk away from the station first before asking directions.  Good thing there was a hotel nearby with receptionists who were able to assist us. It was just about 5 minutes walk from the station. The pick-up point was a restaurant where we had to wait for a few minutes before we were presented the tickets. We hurried back to Lotte for dinner. It was a good thing we were early.

I learned that Lotteria was a fast food chain in Korea and was genuinely happy to be eating something Korean after all that hassle. I had their  Kimchi burger and it was all good. Enough for me to let go of the mistake.

After dinner we had a few minutes of cam whoring in the station. Manila has trains but it is mainly to get around the city. We don’t have train stations for long distance travel to provinces. So it was a first for me and some of my friends to see LED screen showing all the schedules of the train. We each had picture there. By around 9pm we were already at the platform. We were joking around asking where platform 9 ¾ was while speaking with British accents. It was hilarious. It was drizzling but we didn’t care much. We’re going to ride sleeper train! Although, the floo network would have been better, LOL. There is a specific time when the doors of the train would be opened so we had to wait together with other passengers in the drizzle.

I was amazed that there is really a train conductor who opens the door and looks at your ticket by shining his/her lamp. We saw our cabin and I took the top bunk. Each bunk had a pillow and a blanket as well as a bottle of water. Good thing I fit in it. Since we were five, unfortunately one of us had to be separated. The corridor outside was a bit narrow maybe because of our packs but we were able to fit in all 5 packs in our room. At the ends of the train there is a sink  and a mirror for those who want to wash up and relieve themselves. Although the toilet doors will be opened once the train starts moving.

Of course I have to say that! So here was what happened to me. My bladder was full and I really had to go so I was anxiously waiting for the toilet doors to be opened. Since the train was not yet moving I decided to go back to the cabin. The train started moving after about 10 minutes and I rushed to the toilet only to find it occupied. So despite the moving train, I had to do the “OMG-my-bladder-is-so-full-I-have-to-pee” dance while waiting. When it was my turn, there was a toilet with a bidet with tissue holders. I was unzipping my shorts already when I realized that there was a window that was open. So who ever was in their houses and looking at the train can see me. I didn’t have much of a choice. The train was moving anyway.

Now the train ride was a bit bumpy and rocky as it moved to the tracks.  Plus there is this Vietnamese song being blasted in the trains. We decided to close the cabin door to muffle the song and continue chatting amongst ourselves. But I guess, all the walking got to us. I was snoring after around 30 minutes after getting used to the rocking of the train. I just imagined that I was in a rocking chair being lulled to sleep.

flippin’ out!

<pictures to follow, promise!>

“Xin Chao Vietnam! Day 1: Walkathon Galore”

Hello readers (I hope there are still people reading this blog despite the lack of new posts for QUITE a while). I personally haven’t been in much of adventures in a while. But fortunately for the month of August  and October I was able to take out my flip flops and travel to two different locations. Bohol and Vietnam. This one’s about the later.

This was what I said when I booked my ticket to Hanoi, Vietnam last October 2012. Yeah, I normally book a year in advance. This particular trip was an impulse buy honestly. I heard there was a sale and VIOLA, I booked it with my credit card. I intended to have this trip as my first solo backpacking trip but I am glad that my friends came along with me after hearing my plan. Apart from my friends availing cheaper flights than me, it was all good.

Now, backpacking is actually an uncharted territory. I was able to travel light, just one bag for max of 3 to 4 days stay but never with a back pack. I just liked the term backpacking really so I decided to try it. I visualized a Dora the Explorer-esque traveler without the bangs and the cheerfulness and soft spoken creatures and inanimate objects. Honestly, having a talking map would have been helpful.

So we had a lot of time to prepare for the trip but never really got too much of the planning. A month before the trip, we already had talks but three things were definite: we will be going to Hanoi then taking a day in Sa Pa and we will be staying at a dorm room hostel (May De Ville Backpackers Hostel). The places of interest were all laid out for us but since one from our group already went to Hanoi, we decided to just follow his previous itinerary.

Manila to Hanoi was supposed to be a three hour flight but since PST is advance by an hour, we arrived in Hanoi at around 2:30-ish Vietnam Time. It’s a good thing we booked hotel transfer from our hostel as there were no taxis available and everything is closed. We got to the hostel, checked in and snoozed a little to brace ourselves for an entire day of walking. It was nice to be in a room with 6 double deck beds. It feels like we were in a dorm room in college. Well, my friends were from the same university.

Our accommodation in the hostel comes with a free buffet breakfast. I’ll tell you about the May De Ville Backpackers Hostel in another post.

So we got up at around 10 am Hanoi time, cleaned ourselves up and had breakfast to finalize our itinerary for the day from the map that hostel gave us. We finished planning by 11:30 then we were off with the intention of walk all thru out the day.

Hoan Kiem Lake was first on the list as it was the nearest from the Old Quarter. We had to walk around three blocks to get there. Now, I think everybody knows this already, the transportation of choice in Vietnam is the motor bike. Not the ones you use for motocross. More like to scooters you would see in Italy. And they come in NUMBERS! As in they are PLENTY, BOUNTIFUL, NUMEROUS, and other synonyms to many. Majority of them are for personal rides. But there are some that are used as delivery vehicles for all sorts of products: bouquets of flowers; pieces of bamboo; sacks; even several cases of bottled drinks (about 12 cases!). I even saw a picture of a motorbike transporting 4 live pigs (well, I think they were alive). I guess the Vietnamese deserve some credit on their motor biking skills and overall balance despite numerous and heavy loads. I personally think, they should come up with an annual festival on packing, and racing several motorbikes. It’s a good idea right?

A tip when crossing the streets: don’t look at the incoming traffic. Look straight ahead and slowly walk. This will make the drivers see you and slowly maneuver their way around you. Just make sure to cross when the coast is clear that is.

So we got to the lake after a few blocks and it so nice. Trees lined up the edge of the Hoan Kiem Lake with the cool autumn breeze blowing. It was I guess the perfect time to go walking around the city. There were a lot of people at the lake. I guess it’s a must go destinations for both tourist and Hanoians a like to enjoy the day. A few meters down the lake, we saw the Ngoc Son Temple easily noticeable because of it’s tourist filled red bridge as the temple is located in the middle of the lake. We decided to skip it as we have a lot of time to spend in Hanoi.

After getting our fill of how Hanoians spend their time in the park, we proceeded to walk to the Temple of Literature. Based on the net, this was the oldest university in Hanoi. It was indeed interesting to on how other countries schools look like. Well, it was a long walk from the lake so I had time to look at the infrastructures and establishments along the way.

I guess in a way, majority of Asian cities all look alike, only the look of the people and language differs. I personally have been to Singapore (which looks like Makati City) and Kuala Lumpur (which is a mix of Makati and Manila). Hanoi, which kinda looks like a CLEANER Manila, differs in their buildings. They are quite narrow but tend to be long. And I really mean it being clean. We encountered several homeless people. Only two in total. What caught my eye was this barber who has shop at a corner of the street. He just had a chair and a mirror and was snipping away his customer’s hair. We saw two of them also. Now, as a tourist you might want to take a snap of this barber shop with a barber in action. We did but we had to hastily walk away as the barber demanded to charge us for the photo. If you can, do it simply and inconspicuously.  We passed by the railroad tracks as well and it was same as what every rail road track in SEA.

Did I mention it was a long walk? I guess you figured it out as I have described and observed quite a lot before getting to the Temple of Literature. Well finally, we had reached it. We saw the back part of the school and from my perspective it was quite big and spacious inside. Entrance cost VND 20000. The

Temple of Literature is composed of interconnecting courtyards and is really picturesque. There is a courtyard with man-made ponds with lotus plants. Another has a big central pond. Another have soft shelled turtles carvings carrying blocks with inscriptions that I don’t understand. There are signages but it’s in Vietnamese. I think you can rent an audio tour device from the entrance (I saw one group of tourists with a guide there).  One is a big courtyard with rooms. Then a temple and at the end of the complex was a place where women played traditional Vietnamese instruments. Don’t miss this show. It is really nice! There would be a lot of photo opportunities in the Temple of Literature if you’re a cam whore promise.

After exhausting our cameras in the Temple of Literature, we made our way to the Hanoi Flag Tower then the Army Museum which was right next to each other. Conveniently, there was a store of Highland Coffee right next to both attractions. Being that it was already past 12 noon in Manila, our group was definitely hungry. We decided to eat lunch first before going to the museum. You know what that means: it’s time to eat Vietnamese food!

In the menu was pho bo and pho ga as well as the famous Vietnamese coffee. I went for pho ga as I was feeling cold from the autumn breeze. I was in shorts and flip flops only and I could have sworn that my finger nails were almost violet by that time. Some hot soup would definitely help my insides. From what I know, pho ga is a rice noodle soup with chicken. I didn’t know if you had to put condiments to make it better. When it came, it was a big bowl that came with a plate of fresh herbs. Now, I’m not a botanist or chef but I could sworn the herbs were coriander, mind and basil. Am not sure but as a tip, don’t put too much herbs. It’s not supposed to be a salad (LOL!). The broth was not that good actually but I put in mind that this is not authentic. What I consider as authentic are food from hawker places. I didn’t try the coffee but based on my friends it was good.

After eating we went to the Army Museum. Entrance is VND 20000. This museum holds items that were used in the Vietnam War: weapons from guns to rakes with sharpened spikes, land mine, tanks, air planes and jeeps. The rest are pictures taken during the war. The main building holds a few exhibits but you can still visit other buildings for more. I personally did not enjoy this museum mainly because I was really not interested in the war. I felt also that there was a ghost of a little girl who was following us at the second floor of the museum. Plus the debris of destroyed planes were a bit gory as well as I felt that they were some of the reason for death soldiers. It’s I psychic thing I guess. The Flag Tower was not that much for us also.

We walked (yet again) to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum which were around 3 blocks from the museum. It was still breezy and drizzling as well so imagine the cold. I had to wrap my scarf around my waits to cover my legs for warmth. I basically looked like I was wearing a skirt but who cares, I was cold and I know I can work it.

The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum was BIG. This was where Ho Chi Minh was laid to rest. Fronting it was a wide and spacious park for events most probably. Guards in white uniform guard the mausoleum and are not shy to blow their whistle for anyone who crosses the yellow line or to tell of anyone who is a bit noisy.

The One Pillar Pagoda was next on our list. And based on the map, it was just near the mausoleum. But it was one hard pagoda to find. I guess part of the experience of travel is to get lost at one point. Well we asked for instructions but I guess we misunderstood it and went on to find a coffee shop.  After buying coffee, and using their restroom, we asked for directions and we were able to find the pagoda. It was really unnoticeable as it is small. But really nice also for pictures. You have to remove your shoes/ flip flops if you want to climb the pagoda as a form of respect.

Afterwards, we walked past the Presidential Palace (taking photos is not allowed) to reach the West Lake. It was a long walk! But a bit nice because of the weather. We got to the lake but had to take about 30 minutes as our feet was aching from all the walking that we did. We just enjoyed the view and talked among ourselves. Well we got offered by two ladies carrying fruits plus two ladies offering developed pictures or postcards I think. We turned them down unfortunately as we were all too tired. They were persistent though. We made our way to the Tan Quoc Pagoda but did not enter anymore. I think we had our fill our pagodas for the day. But we found some men fishing from the lake.

I think we walked about miles in one day so imagine how exhausted we were. We had to take a break again by around 4:30 PM at a café near the Truc Bach Lake and rested our feet. A friend and I went around looking for money changers as we had Philippine peso and the hostel won’t accept it to change for VND but unfortunately, we fail.

SO, to Pinoy’s traveling to Vietnam, here a very important tip for you: CHANGE YOUR PESO TO DOLLARS before hand to avoid hassle. Thankfully, my parents gave me some USD so I had something to use.

After resting our feet we decided to walk back to the hostel but it was so far away that we gave up walking and hailed two cabs. Based on travel guides I’ve read, we had to be careful in riding taxis but we didn’t have any problems. It was safe. Arriving back to May de Ville, we slumped down on their benches, definitely exhausted from all the walking. But we decided to head out again for dinner as we were all famished. We passed by this hawker place on the way to the Hoam Kiem Lake and decided to have dinner there.

It was the Thanh Hop restaurant which in my opinion is the best place to eat in Hanoi. Not only it is authentic, it’s also very cheap. We ate there for 6 meals. It was that good.

Now , I know about two Vietnamese dish, the pho and bun cha. Pho restaurants are available in Manila as well but it was really pricey so I didn’t bother. Bun Cha on the other hand, I learned from Samantha Brown, travel goddess, in one of her shows. It’s supposed to be this burger like patties that are grilled over open flame. That was what I know. So I concluded that it was sort of a burger/ sandwich like dish. But I was wrong. I was served with rice noodles and dipping sauce. Spring rolls were also available.

Since I idolize Samantha Brown (I think she’s a good presenter and have the best job in the world. I would kill to be her assistant), I had to try bun cha. And it was SO GOOD! I am salivating as am writing this. The dipping sauce had a sour taste to it. Based on the restaurant’s owner, you but the meat and rice noodles in the sour dipping sauce then eat it. And it is SO GOOD! It’s good enough to make sing “Bun Cha wish your Girlfriend was Hot like me”, I swear. I also ordered spring rolls so I was full. I never thought I would be full with just noodles but it surprisingly it’s enough.

After eating, we went back to the hostel to freshen up and decided to go out again go drinking local beer. Good thing we just had to cross the street to get to the bars. Unlike bars we see in Manila, the seats were really short.  We ordered Hanoi Beer which tasted the same as San Miguel beer which were also available in the bars to our surprise. It was a really good experience as there are other tourists in the bar. One was rather drunk and asked me for cigarettes which I gave willingly as he was really drunk was having a discussion with his girl (well I think it was his girl). We moved to the outside to do some people watching but had to move back in because it was drizzling. The bars also offer free WIFI by the way.

After downing one bottle each we decided to call it a day and get a good night’s rest. Words can express how tired I was but my eyes were definitely full with sights that I saw that day.

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A Tale of Two Suns

I was browsing through my old Blackberry phone and I came across this poem I wrote two years ago, I think. Although I can’t remember why I wrote it, I think it is one of my best poems I’ve made.

 

A Tale of Two Suns

 

Two suns rose together in equal bright,

High in the sky as they take flight.

Also as one, they fade into the night

Only to rise again and spread their light

 

The animals in the prairie looked up to the sky

Every morning announced by the rooster’s cry

They stared in awe and mouth, “Oh my!

How stunning these two suns are?”, they sigh

 

As seasons changed, they did not falter.

These two suns rose and fell together.

The animals ooh-ed and aah-ed but began to wonder,

“Does having two suns make the temperature hotter?”

 

The birds who flew across the sky tried to explain,

They hover over the prairie and in chorus they exclaim

“We have two suns because it’s just that way.

So don’t ask anymore and please enjoy your day.”

 

Although the birds came to the suns defense,

They could not swallow or even get the sense.

As they themselves have questions and queries 

But concluded that it is an unsolved mystery.

 

Tell me what you think will ya?

flippin’ out!

Things to do to combat “Petsa de Peligro”

What does “petsa de peligro” mean?

Well, this is a term that I have heard in the course of my professional life. Literally, it translates to “day of danger”. But it is not like danger as in danger in life that will eventually lead to pain, injury or death.

This phrase is commonly used during a period wherein your wallet or ATM or cash on hand is running low and payday seems so SO far away and it gets you wondering “how will get through?’. So you got it? I hope so.

I think almost every young professional at one point experienced petsa de peligro. Heck, I am still experiencing this even now that I’ve been working for more than 6 years now. I know what your thinking, I should have had some sort of savings from all those 6 years but unfortunately, I have nothing. I even have to make “katok sa ginintuan puso (knock on the golden hearts)” of my parents at times when all else fail. In short, I borrow money from them to be paid off or to be compensated by doing errands or helping them out for something they need. I know, I should be self sufficient by now. But like i said, I have nothing. Well, I think I’m richer in other aspects.

So what are the causes of petsa de peligro?

1. Spending beyond your means – Yup. You might have not budgeted your cash on hand well to a point that you over spend and leave nothing for your day to day spending.

2. Emergency cases – Well, there are things that happen unexpectedly that will mess with ones budget plan.

3. You got less than what you were expecting – What I mean by this is that what you saw in your pay slip was less than the usual you got for that cut off. Reasons may include deductions from tardiness, increase in taxes or monthly deductions.

4. Absence of Budget plan – Let’s face it, majority of us have no budget plan. Or rather, the discipline to stick to that plan. Am I right or am I right?

It is really not sure if I covered it all but am sure that I got the major ones.

So, can you relate?

You might be asking, how can we prevent entering petsa de peligro.

1. Be in the KNOW – Simply put you need to know the following things:

  • What you EARN – know what is your income and how often it comes
  • What you SPEND – daily, weekly and monthly spending is crucial. What I mean is daily is as in every thing you spend on a day: from a transpo expense, a pack of cigarettes, your snack. EVERYTHING. Tally everything up so you know where your money goes
  • WANT or NEED – from your list of expenses, identify what is a necessity or luxury

2. PLAN – given the data that you have, you need to determine expense that you can afford to cut off or at the least, trim down.

3. Put SAVE in your equation – you can put money from the trimmed down or cut off expense into savings. I know finance people say that the proper equation is INCOME less SAVINGS is EXPENSE. But I think this only applies to people who have enough income to cover their expenses. Don’t you agree?

4. Stick to the PLAN – this is the difficult part honestly. Sticking to it. I have problems on this area. I always say ” Stick to the PLAN or the world will STICK you up”. I wouldn’t want that believe me.

But if you are already in the “petsa de peligro” phase, then here are the things that I recommend doing:

1. COUNT your pennies – I know it sucks but you got to know what you have remaining. So take a look at your last withdrawal slip. I would also recommend scouring your bags for spare change. It will help believe me.

2. PAY DAY – Oh yes! The much awaited day! One needs to know how may days left you have till your cup will be full again. Divide it with what you have to know how much you have to spend each day.

3. Know your OPTIONS – More often than not, the resulting everyday budget is a big STRETCH! So adjust your spending particularly on your necessities like food and transportation cigarettes (they’re one of mine). Go for the cheaper ones For example, food from a carinderia/ food stall/ jolly jeep (if you work in Makati) are cheap! Convenience store like 7-11 and Ministop have options too. Oh, and eat slowly. It will make you feel full longer. As for transportation, go public or if you can walk to your office, the better Just remember to adjust your time though to factor in.

4. Make and stick to the PLAN - this is really crucial. It is hard to do it but it is not impossible.

And if all else fail…

5. Borrow with the INTENTION to PAY - borrowing entails a responsibility. Make sure that you also plan for this and commit to settling it.

I’ve been through a number of petsa de peligro days myself and have no sufficient fingers to count for it. And to be honest. I’ve learned the hard way with the help of some of my friends’ and parents advice.

Yes, I acknowledge that it is a reality but it can be over come and ultimately preventable. I am still fighting to be debt free at the moment.

Now, I do take these steps to heart but have lapses of my own due to lack of discipline and that “bahala na si Batman” attitude. But at the end of the day, I always say to my self, Batman won’t pay for my dues as he is a fictional character. Plus I don’t want to live by the pay check.

I hope this was of help somehow.

flippin’ out!

an outpour of negativity i had to express

As extrovert as I think I was, I am an introvert.

Yes. Am not sure but I know that I am perceived as a really approachable guy. Must be my charms but in all honesty, I prefer to be alone.

Why am I having a go at this topic you might ask? Well I am honestly bothered by the fact that I just realized that nobody was genuinely interested in me. Yup. It is a sad truth that I just realized last night. How I came to this conclusion? It’s because that people don’t even ask me questions like “how was your day?” or “did you have dinner already?” and the likes. Yah, that is a sad truth. I know in a civilized conversation, after being asked this question, you’re supposed to return the questions back. But then again, that does not happen to me. Well to the people whom I expect it to come that is.

Well maybe because I answer these questions with “am ok” and “same as always”. Yes, I do that Because I don’t think they would be interested in what I have to say. Yes it is always that. It gives the perception that have this upfront cool, calm and collected look that is my mask. But in reality my inner persona is damaged.

So right now, I feel a bit stupid. Letting these emotions run through me. I can’t even determine what kind emotions they are. Sadness? Loneliness?  Anger?  I really don’t know. I’m just caught up with this negative emotion that seems to be eating me up.

The thing that I hate the most is that I have become a big receptacle in which people with negativity unload their unpleasant emotions. I seriously consider being a psychologist because of it. I guess it is in my good natured features that make people think that they can unload on me. AND I DON’T WANT TO ANYMORE!

I am sick in tired on being visible only when people have worries and become invisible when they’ve unload. I feel like a prostitute with that statement. A prostitute used to unleash a pent up negative emotion. Then gets left behind after they feel better. At least, a prostitute gets paid for it. I don’t. Not that I want to be paid. I guess I was just expecting to be thrown back some kindness and decency to be asked also of HOW and WHAT I feel. But no. I don’t even get a thank you.

Now, am stuck with this idea that nobody really cares. Because I don’t feel it. I guess this feeling is worse when you’re single. You get used to it make you take your guard up and not letting anyone or anything in. It makes you fester and putrefy in your own sh*t. I guess I am also short on TRUST. Yes it is a big word. I do trust a handful of people and I guess why I am feeling this way is because I have seen them in a while. Right now, all I can do is look at the stars.

I really don’t know how to express this so I am making this post. And upon re-reading it I guess it is a pointless expression of emotion that when looked upon is entirely self inflicted. I needed to get it out.  And nobody reads this blog anyway.