Category Archives: Personal Rantings

Duterte Is the Most Competent Presidential Candidate!

Eight Days to go before Election.

Black Propaganda and Duterte Haters

Duterte’s enemies are expected to do everything they can to prevent him from winning.  They have agendas and interests to protect.  A Duterte presidency is a very threaten

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ing prospect.  This is the reason why they are very desperate in throwing accusations againsts him now that the election is just a week away.

But, I actually don’t expect that many of their supporters are too rabid in criticizing us (Duterte supporters) to the point that all they can post on their walls are mostly about Dutertards instead of highlighting the good qualities of their choosen candidates. I can’t help but feel very disappointed.

We don’t need to resort to name calling just to prove who is right or wrong. We should be optimistic because most people here in social media are very passionate in wanting to elect the right leader. We argue and debate because we wanted a better future for our children, the next generation.

Electing the right leader doesn’t mean everything will automatically change. Nothing will change if we, ourselves, are still stuck with the old ways. No matter how good the leader we will put in there, nothing will happen if we, the citizens, are not doing our fair share of responsibilities.

Duterte is the most competent candidate. Deal with it!

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To further clarify the common misconception, as part of Duterte’s millions of supporters, I don’t see him as a hero, a savior, or a messiah. Only delusional people would think that way.

I am supporting him because he is the most QUALIFIED. His portfolio says so. We are hiring a leader, not a pastor. Of course, he needs to wear different hats if he’ll become a president.  His machismo and gutter talking persona would be a downside.  But, let’s take a look at the bigger picture.

Who among the presidentiables can inspire people to act? Who among them has demonstrated effective and result-oriented leadership? Who among these president-wannabes have no agendas and have showed genuine intention to serve the people? Who among them have enough courage to face bullies such as China? Who among them have demonstated tangible results of an effective leadership?

We are in the process of hiring a competent leader with a backbone and a solid track record. Express your support to the candidates you like through your votes. There’s no point in insulting each other. We all want a better country that we can be proud of.

I am voting for him because I’m so feed up with these TRAPOS who always side with the elite. I’m so feed up with an incompetent government that really doesn’t care for its people. I’m angry with the current president who has no accountability and no friggin’ backbone. I’m so tired of this system that only serves the rich and oppresses the poor.

Duterte, despite all the black propaganda thrown at him, has one thing all the other candidates don’t have. He has Davao city. A tangible and glaring proof that he has the capability to lead this country.

If I am the CEO of a company, I would surely hire him because he has the best portfolio. Why would I choose the incompetent ones? All I need are results.  And, Rodrigo can surely deliver. This is definitely not an irrational choice. In fact, this is the most logical because despite his crassness, I choose to focus on what really matters – his capability, his ability.

Thus, those who keep on ranting that his supporters are irrational and dim-witted, I urge you to take a second look.

This election means a lot to us. This country doesn’t deserve another lousy leader who is just good at promises but can’t deliver actual results.  We need a system overhaul and I believe Federalism is the answer.  And, Duterte is the most competent candidate who can implement this.

Now, look at the other candidates and scrutinize their leadership portfolios. Does any one of them better than Duterte’s? If you still don’t know the answer, then I guess you should research more about his track record in Davao. Good luck to all of us!

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The Least Expected Yet Most Pleasant Suprise [#AgnosticAtheistMusings – Entry 2]

The things you least expected often bring more joys and contentment into your life.

My journey to Agnosticism and Atheism is filled with subtle yet consistent  sequences of unexpected revelations.

Growing up in a typical Catholic family within a typical Catholic community in a country wherein religious teachings are considered as absolute facts, it is always a struggle for a person like me to break away from deep childhood indoctrination.

My journey is very life-changing. It makes me appreciate more the value of life. It makes me symphatize more with people. In short, it makes me a better person.

One of the most unexpected revelations in my journey that brings so much joy and warm into my heart is when my life partner confessed that he is now an Agnostic.

A Very Heartwarming Yet Unexpected Revelation

My life partner, for almost eleven years, is a former seminarian. After he graduated in highschool, he decided that he wanted to devote his life as a Catholic priest. But, for some reasons, he didn’t make it.

On the last week of January this year, we were in for the biggest surprise in almost 11 years of our being together. We found out that I am pregnant. (I am on my 18th week of pregnancy while writing this blog post.)

One of the questions our OB asked in our very first visit was what is our religious affiliations. I was pleasantly shocked and surprised when he straightforwardly answered that he is an Agnostic.

I feel like I’ve been wrong all along. I always thought that he is always a theist. Although I’m very vocal with my thoughts about the atrocities brought by religions, my partner seldom argues with me. He always listen to what I say to the point of seemingly agreeing to some of my sentiments. 

But, I knew deep down, he should have disagreed (to some of my arguments) because I believed he was just being lenient with me. This is the very reason why I never expected that for all these years, he is now becoming more like me.

An Atheist and a Theist Relationship

I often read articles saying that it’s impossible for an atheist and a theist to be together. But, this is not true at all.

Despite our differing opinions before, we managed to co-exist and love each other. I never felt that he loves me less when I came out as an atheist.  I even felt his support when a few of my Facebook friends bashed me personally when I posted statuses that are against their beliefs.

It was actually not an issue in our relationship that we have different worldviews.  I also never directly approached him to change his. Thus, when he told our OB that he is an Agnostic, I was pleasantly surprised.

My life partner has been listening to me all these years. He doesn’t only listen but he truly understands why I became an Agnostic Atheist. He feels the depth of my sentiments and truly symphatizes with my arguments. He understands the logic and rationality why I abandoned the myths of the Catholic religion.

I am now in tears while writing this blog post. Someday our child, baby Marley, will read this and he/she will know that his/her parents truly love each other. And, whatever the future brings, this is one of my most unforgettable life experiences that I will treasure until my very last breath.

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The Curiosity of a Child: [#AgnosticAtheistMusings – Entry 1]

A few days ago, I was fondly watching my nephew (6) and niece (2) playing in our room. I noticed they’ve been viewing the same cartoon videos over and over again.

Out of the blue, I asked them if they want to see how the universe looks like. To my surprise, they were very interested and they kept on asking me about it while watching the videos.

Then, suddenly, one of those videos shows a scene wherein Earth is eaten by the Sun. I told them that billions of years from now, the Sun will explode and Earth will be destroyed.

Upon hearing my remark, my 6-year-old nephew instantly replied that it won’t happen because papa God will protect earth. I then replied that no one really knows for sure if a deity exists. He then instantly replied that I am bad for saying it.

I didn’t respond anymore. My nephew’s remark is very typical from a child raised in a religious household. I didn’t bother to explain further because I know he will find out sooner or later that I’m not lying.

Then, a day after that, while I was inside the toilet, I was surprised that my nephew suddenly knocked on the door. He then told me that Earth won’t end and his grandfather said so, and that papa God won’t let it happen.

I was not actually surprised by it. My father is a a very religious person. Although we have a close relationship, but we often debate when it comes to religion. But, what makes me happy is my nephew’s attitude and reaction.

As young as he is, he is quite bothered if I’m really saying the truth and asks around for validation about it. Sooner or later, my nephew will know both sides of the story and he will decide for himself which one has a more rational and logical explanation.

Children are the easiest to indoctrinate because they believe without questioning everything their parents would tell them. One of the reasons why myths in religions are still thriving has to do with the fact that they have the best influencers – our parents.

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12 Apps You Can’t Live Without When Learning The World

We can all see the charm in going unplugged on a vacation. After all, who needs constant e-mails from work and senseless bragging of some people on social media during a holiday?

But things have changed over the years. Mobile devices enhance convenience, not disturb the peace and quiet, while on a vacation or travel abroad. Based on a 2013 Holiday Travel Survey, 65% of smartphone users say they see a “clear sailing ahead.” At the same time, non-smartphone users are 5% more likely to predict “nothing but chaos” in their travels compared to smartphone users. The study further revealed that the more travel apps a traveler uses, the more optimistic he is about discovering the world.  

Apps for travelling let you do practically anything. They add to your level of confidence as you navigate an unfamiliar territory. With travel apps, you can book flights and hotels, find the nearest restaurant, learn a new language, chat with family and friends back home, and even get help with your travel finances. These apps are also especially useful for students who study abroad and have to stay long-term and get accustomed to the new culture.

 

Here are recommended apps for your next travel abroad.

TripIt

Photo courtesy of negativespace.co via Pexels

Photo courtesy of negativespace.co via Pexels

This app is like your pocket travel agent. It pulls together all travel information that you might need—from your confirmation emails for flights, hotels, and car rentals—and converts it into a single itinerary. This is useful for planning group trips because it can share plans with your friends.

 

Where To Go?

Photo courtesy of Steven Lewis via Unsplash

Photo courtesy of Steven Lewis via Unsplash

The first question of the day when traveling abroad is “where do we go now?” Of course, you can plan your itinerary and your tour in the city and other tourist spots. But what if you need a grocery or a pharmacy? This app works globally with over 500 location types. It is also a handy GPS that provides turn-by-turn directions to wherever it is you want to go. It has a very simple interface and you can even customize it. If you can’t decide where to go, there is a shake-to-suggest feature to explore and discover possibilities around you.

Where To Go? is also among the top apps when studying abroad because it helps you become familiar with your new neighborhood. It also helps you settle down in a new city.

 

AroundMe

Photo courtesy of FirmBee via Pixabay

Photo courtesy of FirmBee via Pixabay

If you want a list of establishments around your chosen hotel, AroundMe will quickly provide you information about your surroundings. By identifying your position, it will give you a list of the nearest banks, gas stations, restaurants, hotels, hospitals, supermarket, theater, etc. along with the distance from where you are. You can choose from a category and the app will provide you a listing of businesses that you can view on a map complete with a route. You can even send the information of the place to a friend via email.

 

Trip Advisor

Reviews of fellow travelers are very important. With Trip Advisor, you can read reviews and recommendations from over 50 million travelers. The app is perfect if you want to get tips when traveling abroad because it ranks the best restaurants and hotels based on its rating scheme. It also helps you find the best flight deals and check to see if a certain hotel is available. You may also check traveler’s photos of the places you plan to visit.

 

WhatsApp Messenger

Photo courtesy of JESHOOTS via Pixabay

Photo courtesy of JESHOOTS via Pixabay

You will need at least one communication app when you travel abroad to keep in touch with your family and friends back home. WhatsApp allows you to exchange messages, photos, audio notes, and video messages. The best thing is you can use this app for free anywhere in the world.

 

SnapChat

Instagram seriously got a run for its money with the entry of SnapChat. This app allows you to share quick snaps such as photos and videos with friends and family. These “snaps” can be viewed for a brief amount of time before they disappear. Its ephemeral nature particularly appeals to teens and millennials.

It also doubles as a fun messaging app where you can take a photo and doodle over it before sending to a friend. It also has a “story” feature, which is a 24-hour collection of your photos and videos.

 

Camera+

Photo courtesy of Henry Marsh via Pexels

Photo courtesy of Henry Marsh via Pexels

Developed by a professional photographer, this app is like a high-quality SLR lens. Point and shoot phone cameras are fine but if you want more professional looking photos from your trip, you might want to download this app. It has a burst mode for action shots, a timer for self-portraits, and an image stabilizer. You can have fun with the shutter and other manipulating features such as color tints and retro effects.

 

Bravolol

This is your modern Rosetta stone. Bravolol features a basic phrasebook in over 13 languages. While the words are basic, the app helps you pronounce words and phrases and even offers phonetic spelling. The best part is that once you have downloaded the app, it can run without an Internet connection. This is perfect for solo travelers, adventure seekers, and foreign students who want to explore a particular city by engaging more with the locals.

 

CityMaps2Go

Photo courtesy of kelseyannvere via Pixabay

Photo courtesy of kelseyannvere via Pixabay

Most airports provide a map of the city and how to go about the public transportation system. But actual physical maps can get you in trouble. One of the travel abroad safety tips is not constantly look at maps because doing so will only alert petty thieves and scammers that you have no idea where you are going. Using them is also a bit inconvenient.

CityMaps2Go will help you stay safe while traveling with its downloadable maps and guides to over 7,000 destinations. You may pre-load this to your phone and run it without an Internet connection. The app also features suggested destinations.

 

Mint.com

This app is especially useful for frequent travelers and long-term travelers such as students who study abroad. It’s like having your own accountant on the trip as it allows you to track, budget and manage your money all at once. After you’ve opened an account, Mint will automatically pull in all the bank, credit, and loan accounts you added. Never again will you wonder where all your money went.

Mint also customizes your budget based on your spending and sends bill reminders. The app is safe, secure, and easy to use.

 

Converter Plus

Money converter apps are a must when you travel abroad so you don’t overestimate or underestimate a country’s currency when you purchase something or dine in a restaurant. Converter Plus is an all-in-one calculation app with an extensive list of currencies and units in hundreds of categories.

 

Trip Journal

Photo courtesy of Dariusz Sankowski via Unsplash

Photo courtesy of Dariusz Sankowski via Unsplash

As soon as you check in at the airport, the instinct is also to share it to the world by updating on Facebook or Twitter. Every photo you will take will also probably land on your social media pages. But there’s a certain charm about keeping a travel journal.

The Trip Journal app will let you create a travelogue of your experiences complete with high-resolution photos and videos. You may add notes and comments to describe the experiences. Students on study abroad programs will particularly find this app interesting as it will document the whole experience. The app’s integration with Google Earth will also allow friends and families to see the places you’ve been. It even has trip stats like the distance and time you have traveled.

 

There’s an app for almost anything today and when it comes to travel, you will find an enormous list of apps. Make the most of your smartphone or mobile device when you travel. These apps will help make your trip safer, more convenient, and more memorable.

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Top 10 Things I Love About Pitogo Island (Photos)

After over a year of residing in that quaint and laid-back island, I can honestly say that I won’t be easily impressed anymore if I’ll see any other smaller islands in the country.

While writing this blog post, I’m currently preparing to travel to Batanes with my friend.  We booked a homestay accommodation in Basco for 7 days but I’m not sure if we will stick with that schedule.  I prefer to stay longer.

While I was researching for blog reviews about Batanes and was checking a lot of photos of the place, I can’t help but noticed that the sceneries are moderately similar to what I see there in Pitogo Island. Mounds of green hills, islets here and there, and the open sea.

Moto hills in Pitogo Island Bohol

That photo above was taken at Moto, one of the best parts of Pitogo Island wherein you can take great photos of the hills and the surrounding islets.  I’m sure those rolling hills in Batanes are more picturesque and have better landscape but this view from Moto hill is also nostalgic.

I actually feel a bit sad when I hear some people there who complained how boring the island is and that there’s nothing much to see.  I would love to share my thoughts with them and show them that their island has the nicest sceneries and they should be proud that they live there.

Below are the top 10 things that I love about Pitogo and I encourage curious backpackers to explore it if they have the time.

1. Going for a Picnic in Moto

Moto 2 - Pitogo Island President Carlos P Garcia Bohol

It’s nicer to go there when sunset is coming.  If you have a DSLR camera, the better.  This photo was taken by a point and shot camera only, thus the quality of the image is not that high.

2. Passing by this Farm Going to Tugas

Tugas - Pitogo Island President Carlos P Garcia Bohol

Every time we go to Tugas, I always peek at this little farm by the road.  I always see myself living in a farm rearing cattles, pigs, and goats during my golden years.  The smell of the the grass and the stink of the manure are like perfume to my lungs. Lols!

3. Commuting to Ubay via Pump-boat

Motor Boat - Pitogo Island President Carlos P Garcia BoholCommuting without noise and air pollution.  Less than 5-minute travel from Popoo to Ubay in this small boat.  The only main downside is the waiting time.  The boat doesn’t go if the passenger count won’t reach 10.

4. The Serene Ambiance in their New Cemetery

Cemetery 2 - Pitogo Island President Carlos P Garcia Bohol

Cemetery - Pitogo Island President Carlos P Garcia Bohol

Not much to see but I still love this place.  Weird, right? I think cemeteries are among the quietest and safest places on earth.  This is a serene place wherein you can meditate, ruminate, or sometimes you can also get the worst err the best photo for a jump shot. (:

Cemetery Pitogo Island Bohol - JumpShot Final

Yeah, the best jump shot ever. Lol!

5. Biking to Bonbonon

Bonbonon - Pitogo Island President Carlos P Garcia BoholI had so much memories in this side of the island.  Fainted a few times and got into an accident once.  But, if you are into mountain biking, the trail there is quite challenging.  Of course, that’s from a neophyte perspective. (;

6. Paddle Boarding in Aguining

Paddle Boarding Aguining - Pitogo Island President Carlos P Garcia Bohol

Paddle Boarding Failed - Pitogo Island President Carlos P Garcia BoholThese photos are quite memorable.  Aguining is the side of the island wherein the road is very steep and quite dangerous during rainy season.  Still, it’s the only place in the island wherein you can find a fish sanctuary, an ideal place to snorkel and go for scuba diving in the nearby islets.

There’s also a beach resort in there wherein you can rent a paddle board and enjoy the rest of the day in the water.

7. Snorkeling in Pong Gamay

Snorkeling at Pong Gamay

Pong Gamay is one of the very few islets that surround Pitogo Island.  Though there’s no white sands in there, the clearness of the water would surely convince you to swim despite the very hot weather.  Of course, you can also snorkel since schools of fishes are just nearby.

Pumpboat going to Pong Gamay - Pitogo Island Bohol

View of Pong Gamay from our pump boat.

8. Chilling at Kabangkalan

Kabangkalan Beach Pitogo Island Bohol

One of the biggest downsides in Pitogo Island is it does not have a lot of white sands.  Most of the beaches are filled with rocks like that in the photo below.  There’s only a small strip of white sands in Pong Dako, the islet which I haven’t checked yet.

Kabangkalan Beach 2 Pitogo Island Bohol

Kabangkalan is also located in Aguining area but its road is safer compared to the other Aguining beach I mentioned earlier.  It’s ideal for a family weekend getaway.

9.  No Pollution and Traffic

Biking in Moto Pitogo Island Bohol

Of course, this is the main reason why I love Pitogo Island.  It is far away from anything toxic.  The air is fresh, the lifestyle is laid back, no noise pollution, no traffic, and most of the people there don’t know me.  I always believe that there’s freedom in anonymity. (:

10. Fresh Seafoods

Mud Crab - Pitogo Island President Carlos P Garcia Bohol

Big SeaShells - Pitogo Island President Carlos P Garcia Bohol

I guess I have to write a separate blog post for this since there are so much to tell about my seafood adventure in Pitogo Island.  It was there that I learned to love eating “wood-like seashells” (Wasay-wasay) and “Tuyom” (Sea Urchin),  the type of exotic sea foods that I don’t even expect to like. (:

This list is for sure not a complete one.  I still have a lot to say, a lot to express, a lot to share. I hope I can find more time to write another long blog post like this one.

Until next time! Namaste!

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CBSi 7th Anniversary: 7 Reasons to Celebrate! (Photos) #CBSi7

Cebu Bloggers Society Inc 7th Anniversary Marriott Hotel

Time flies so fast. Our beloved blogging organization will be celebrating its 7th year of founding this Sunday, February 15 at Marriott Hotel.  February 14 is the actual founding anniversary but we’ll celebrate it on the 15th for the obvious reason that everyone is busy during the former.

Cebu Bloggers Society 7 Years Ago

From its humble beginnings, CBSi has become a community that doesn’t only promote camaraderie within the blogging sphere but has also been inspiring its members to pursue careers in the online writing and marketing professions.

CBSi’s main vision is fueled by the passion to promote Cebu through blogging and encourage Cebuanos to know more about their native homeland.

Cebu Bloggers Society 7 years ago came into existence on Valentines Day.  I’m not sure if Mark Monta (the founder) has really nothing to do on that day (no date? lol) but thanks to him, CBSi was born and from there everything became history.

Cebu Bloggers Society Inc 7 Years Ago

This photo shows how we look like seven blogging years ago.  Everyone looks so young.  I mean what the heck, we really look like c^$###! Hehe!

7 Reasons Why I’m Celebrating

Cebu Bloggers Society is one of the main reasons of my big career change 5 years ago.  The organization enables me to meet many amazing people who have influenced in shaping my worldview when it comes earning money and doing business through the internet.

Without further ado, here are the top 7 reasons I’m celebrating.

1. Because I owe my very first news blogging coverage with CBSi.

US Election Coverage 2008 Cebu Bloggers Society

Seven years ago, I have no idea how to cover news via blogging. This photo was taken during US Election Watch 2008 wherein our group was invited as part of the new media.

2. I met a lot of interesting and amazing personalities through CBSi.

Cebu Bloggers Society DYAB Guesting 7 years ago

My active years in the organization were filled mostly with amazing and talented people.  This photo was seven years ago when we guested in a local radio tech program hosted by a prominent Cebuano journalist.

Cebu Bloggers Society Inc 7 Years Ago with Attorney Ethelbert Ouano 2

Uhmmn, yes. The guy beside me is an inspiration and one of the very few that I look up to.  He’s no other than Atty. Ethelbert Ouano.  There’s no dull moment when you are with this person.  He is CBSi irreplaceable legal adviser. (;

3. CBSi made me understand more the importance of gender equality.

Cebu Bloggers Society DYAB Guesting 7 years ago with Xerxes Bernades

The group is composed of diverse individuals from heterosexuals, homosexuals, bisexuals, and every thing in between.  Every one in the group wholeheartedly embraces and respects each fellow member disregarding gender preference.  And, this is what made me stick more to the group.

4. It was CBSi that helped me mend my broken heart. (LOL)

Cebu Bloggers Society 6 years ago at McBillys House

A group of cheerful people plus a bit of alcohol solved it all. Well, they have no idea why I got myself drunk. Lol! Photo above was taken 6 years ago at McBilly’s house.

5. CBSi helps me polish my skills in writing, blogging, and marketing.

Cebu Bloggers Society

During my active years in the group, I learned a lot of things that help me enhanced my skills more specifically in writing, blogging, and online marketing.  Photo above was taken during our monthly Board of Trustees and Committee meeting.

6. It was in CBSi that I learned how to loot for foods.  LOL!

Cebu Bloggers Society and Foods

We always get invited to food parties and you know, eating is always fun when you are with a group of people. I can’t count anymore how many times I overeat when I was with CBSi peeps. (:

7.  Because I experienced my very first SANDSTORM with CBSi.

Cebu Bloggers Society Sandstorm experience 2009 2

Our sandstorm experience in Sumilon Island way back 2009 is still very vivid in my mind.  When it hit us I thought I won’t survive and gonna die.  LOL!

I really have so many things to say but I still have a lot of pending work this week.  Will continue this list if I’ll get some “free time” next time.

Happy 7th Anniversary CBSi! Cheers to more years of blogging! Namaste!

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Harmonis Residences – Affordable House and Lot for as low as 7K Plus/Month

Harmonis Residences Lagtang Talisay Cebu
Photo Credit: Harmonis Residences Facebook

Are you planning to buy a house and lot to be your future home, or perhaps as a property investment? Harmonis Residences is Citrineland Corporation’s very first residential subdivision project located at Lagtang, Talisay City, Cebu.  For at least Php7K  plus (the lowest monthly amortization either bank financing or PAG-IBIG) a month, you can now have the dream home you want.

Top 5 Reasons Why Harmonis Residences is Ideal For You

Aside from the fact that Harmonis’ target is the middle class market (thus the much affordable rates), this subdivision is also the very first residential project of Citrineland Corporation (known for their condominiums) and this means (according to one of their engineers) that all units are built with high quality materials.  Also, the concept and theme are well thought because Harmonis Residences will be used as a model for their future residential subdivision projects.  Below are the top reasons why you should check this new residential properties out.

1. Affordable Monthly Amortization Rates

For as low as Php7k plus amortization rate per month, you can now live in your very own house.  This estimated rate applies to their Myda (the middle units) house model.  See the rest of the sample monthly amortization rates computation below for the rest of the model houses. (Note: These are just estimates and may change without prior notice).

Harmonis Residences Talisay Cebu Monthly Amortization Rates2. Reasonable Equity Installment Payment Scheme

You can separately pay the equity for up to 24 months (this changes depending on the house type).  This is more convenient than paying for it along with the amortization in monthly basis.  After 24 months, you are free to transfer to your newly bought home.

3. Fully-Fitted Units Ready for Occupancy

Harmonis Residences Ground Floor Actual Model UnitActual photos of the interior of house unit model

Connections for water and electricity are already fitted and the only thing you need to is to install the services to start using them.  Lighting sockets, bathroom, kitchen counter and cabinets are also already installed and ready for use once you transfer.  The whole unit is ready for occupancy and all you need are your furniture.

4. Centrally Located

Harmonis Residences Lagtang Talisay Map

Photo Credit: Harmonis Residences Facebook

I went to the site on the 7th of November and it is indeed located near the main highway.  You can just walk from the highway to the subdivision area.  The subdivision is 5 minutes away from the following landmarks:

  •  St. Joseph Church,
  • Robinson’s Supermarket,
  • Wilcon Depot,
  • St. Scholastica Academy,
  • Gaisano Fiesta Mall,
  • Tabunoc Public Market,
  • Don Bosco Retreat House,
  • Talisay City Hall,
  • and Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints.

Another major thing that makes the location of this subdivision more exciting is the near completion of SM Seaside City construction in the South Road Properties (SRP).  You don’t need to go to SM Cebu anymore because a better and bigger SM City is currently being built near the area.  Also, you can just easily visit Cebu’s newest residential resort once all the construction are done at SRP.

5. Ideal for Family

Harmonis Residences Lagtang Talisay Cebu - Gazebo

Photo Credit: Harmonis Residences Facebook

Harmonis Residences Lagtang Talisay Cebu - Playground

Photo Credit: Harmonis Residences Facebook

Harmonis Residences was conceptualized with family living in mind.  The whole subdivision has 63 exclusively well-arranged residences with an Urban Asian design concept.  Amenities include  zen-inspired tri-level water podium, children’s playground, garden gazebo, and the Trellis.

House Model Units When Fully Furnished

I’ve got these photos from their Facebook page.  These are for illustration purposes only and are subject to change without prior notice.  Myda and Enya are 2-bedroom-1-bathroom-1-carport units while Yssa is 3-bedroom-2-bathrooms-1-carport unit. All units are 2-storey houses.

Mid Units aka Myda (Ground Floor)

Lot Area: 40-49 sq.m. | Floor Area: 47 sq.m.

Price: Php1,900,000.00

Myda - Harmonis Residences Talisay

End Units aka Enya (Ground Floor)

Lot Area: 56-85 sq.m. | Floor Area: 47 sq.m.

Price: Php2,000,000.00

Enya - Harmonis Residences Talisay

 

Single Attached Units aka Yssa (Ground Floor)

Lot area: 70-90 sq.m. | Floor area: 61 sq.m.

Price: Php3,000,000.00

Yssa - Harmonis Residences Talisay

Status

As of 13th of November, Harmonis Residences is still under construction.  Below is their updated site plan highlighting the units which are already sold with X marks.

Harmonis Residences Lagtang Talisay Cebu Sold Units as of November 13 2014

Lastly, below is a scanned 3D model of the whole subdivision, South-West perspective.

Harmonis Residences - Talisay, Cebu 3D

CONTACT

If you are interested to buy or to  know more about Harmonis Residences, kindly contact Kristine Gonzales, CPA  or Engr. Ronmar Gonzales through the following channels.

Kristine Gonzales, CPA

Mobile: 0922-771-0889

Email: kristinejimenez@gmail.com

Skype: kejgonzales

Engr. Ronmar Gonzales

Mobile: 0932-863-8160

Email: gonzalesronmar@yahoo.com

 

Last, last, last…don’t forget to tell them where you heard about Harmonis. (;

BONUS

Below are actual photos of the house models when I went there last 7th of November.  The 2nd group are photos taken by my cousin on the 8th.

 

Sources and References:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/CitrineLand-Corporation
http://www.flaminiaphilhomes.com/property-detail/767-harmonis-residences
http://cebuhomeph.weebly.com/harmonis-residences/harmonis-residences-in-tabunok-talisay-city-cebu
http://www.citrineland.com
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Nominate your Favorite Cebuano Blogs for the 7th Best Cebu Blogs Awards

Best-Cebu-Blogs-Awards-High-Res-Logo

Are you fond of reading blogs? Do you have a favorite blogger you want to be recognized? Then nominate him/her by filling in this nomination form.

The Best Cebu Blogs Awards  is still accepting nominations for Cebu’s finest blogs.  If you haven’t nominated your favorite blog yet, you have until October 25 to do it.

Mechanics and guidelines for the competition can be found here.

The Best Cebu Blogs Awards has been recognizing Cebu’s finest bloggers in the past six years.  Now, in its 7th year, BCBA continues to pool the best online writers in the Queen City of the South.  Qualified nominees will compete for the Best Cebu Blogs by Niche for the following categories.

  • Best Cebu Technology Blog
  • Best Cebu Personal Blog
  • Best Cebu Travel Blog
  • Best Cebu Food Blog
  • Best Cebu Fashion Blog
  • Best Cebu Photo Blog
  • Best Cebu Entertainment Blog

If you have questions or inquiries kindly contact the organizers via email: bestcebublogsawards@gmail.com.

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Boracay at Night: The Good and the Bad

Boracay is tagged as the second best beach destination in the world.  This is already not new to anyone especially among beach bums and tourists alike.  But, for someone like me who grow up in Cebu and had been to its finest beaches, Boracay is not really that super great.  I mean come on.  When it comes to beaches, Sumilon Island here in Cebu is at par, and don’t forget Camotes, Malapascua, and Bantayan Island – these are just a few of Cebu’s best beach destinations.  Also, Panglao Island in Bohol is majestic.  The one thing that makes Boracay a wonder on its own is the never-ending-all-year-round activities that makes you want to come back for more.  And, honestly, that’s the very reason why I’m planning to go back may be next year.

Exploring Boracay on a Budget at Night

The Good

I discovered that the most budget-friendly activity you can do in Boracay is to explore the island by doing a photo-walk during the night.

Boracay at Night

Compared to the “very” costly day-time activities, exploring at night is very friendly to your pocket.  You don’t really need to buy anything.  If you’re a first time tourist, taking photos is definitely a very rewarding and enjoyable activity you can do.

Country Crossing Sign - Boracay Island 2013

While exploring, you can splurge a bit and have a dinner buffet.  In our case, I managed to haggle the per head price, from Php285 per head (for 4) down to Php284 per head (for 3+1).  Yes, I got the 4th person free of charge. I’m that good in haggling. LOL!

Buffet Dinner - Boracay Island 2013

For Php213 per head, we already have a very sumptuous dinner that was composed of poultry meat and sea foods.  And take note, the drinks are bottomless. (; Another note: If you are in a “super” tight budget, you can skip the buffet dinner and just head to Andoks, Mang Inasal, Master Siomai, and a lot more cheaper options.

Band Singing - Boracay Island 2013

After we had our dinner, we were so full that we decided to stroll around.  I found out that there are so many dinner buffet deals ahead of us – the very reason the woman who convinced us to dine in their restaurant tried her best to keep us by giving us a lower rate.  Nice strategy!!

Seafoods Stand - Boracay Island 2013

Compared to other famous beach destinations here in the Philippines, I can say that Boracay has the liveliest night life.

Shakeys - Boracay Island 2013

You will never get hungry because the variety of options is endless.  From fresh sea foods, food stalls, fine dining, fast foods, and yes even a grocery store where you can buy canned goods and rice.

Empress Of Drac - Boracay Island 2013

While strolling, we found some fun ways to take photos.  At the beach side there were a few big photo-shoot studio umbrellas where we got our photos taken.

With Mama - Boracay Island 2013

Farther ahead, we spotted a couple of sand castles.  This one in the photo is not the usual fabulous sand castle I usually see but this is already okay.  Note: After you take your photos, some kids will ask you for a donation.  They are the ones who built the sand castles and they want you to compensate their effort.  You have the choice to just ignore them or just give them at least five pesos.  In my case, I gave them twenty.

With the Dancing Chefs - Boracay Island 2013

One of the best highlights of our long photo-walk session was the dancing chefs.  When we arrived at their dinner buffet area, we noticed a lot of Koreans and other foreigners having a good time taking photos with the restaurant’s chefs.  Who doesn’t want to have a picture taken wearing a chef’s cap?

Minotte and Mama - Boracay Island 2013

Although September is an off-peak season in Boracay, the clubbing life is so alive I would have tried going in a disco area if my mother was not with us.

Tourists at Night - Boracay Island 2013

And this is how the traffic looks like at 10PM.  Tourists had just started to pour in.

The Bad

While on our way back to our hotel, I was astounded when a policeman caught up with us and tried to check the photos I took with my camera.  He asked me if I took photos of “him”.

Police Car - Boracay Island 2013

I was like, really? You Mr. Policeman are overreacting.  I told him that I was only taking a photo of the police vehicle as part of my Boracay documentation.  In our way back to our hotel, we noticed some disturbances when a few policemen were apprehending a drunken tourist.  That’s the time that I noticed a police vehicle and snapped a photo.  It never occurred to me that a policeman in a tourist area would reprimand someone taking photos of her surroundings.

He tried to chitchat with us and asked where we come from and told us that he did the inspection for security purposes.  I was like, really?  They are expecting spies and conspiracies in this bloody island?  I wanted to LOL but at a closer look, I did consider his excuse.  Well, who knows? This can be a good aspect of the island – security.  Still, I really find it friggin’ annoying and unnecessary.  If you are a good policeman, you should know how to assess people.

The Other Side of Boracay Island

And here, I save the best err the worst for last – in my long and previous online researches about Boracay, I never really seen photos like this one that I took.  The results of my online researches all contain beautiful photos of the island – not a hint of the situation that’s being presented in the photo above.

When I passed by this young mother with her children, I can’t helped but realized that in the Philippines, the local/native people are the poorest of the poor.  And it becomes very ironic especially in an island as rich as Boracay – a tourist destination that asks for massive terminal fee, and environmental fees at every entrance gate.  Spell OVERPRICING and SCAMMERS – will write a detailed article about this in my next blog post.

Have you been to Boracay?  Share your experiences, may it be good or bad.  Goodnight. (:

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My Top 3 Remaining Travel Schedules for 2013

Pitogo Island 2

Sunset Shot with Dude at Pitogo Island

At the end of October, Dude and I, along with Minette, will be moving to Pitogo Island.  We will be basing there temporarily or for good (there’s no final plan yet).  We’ve been planning for this move since early this year.  Dude will be quitting from his office job this October for various reasons but one of them is to have a flexible schedule to travel with me.  One of the reasons of our limited travel trips is his work schedule.  Also, we feel that Toledo City is a hostile place to live in.  It would be a relief to get away from this city. (Will try my best to write a separate post detailing about our misadventures here.)

Pitogo Island

Pitogo Island in front of me

In all honesty, I’m actually hesitant about the prospect of living there (though I fell in love with its scenery and the beauty of the surrounding islets), but this move also has to do with our financial stability.  We feel that we can have more savings living in an island compared to living in a sub-urban area.  Also, we have the peace of mind going to trips and travels knowing that our valuables are in a safe place.

My Travel Schedule for the last quarter of 2013

I write about our moving plan to give a detailed picture on how hectic our schedule would be a few months from now.  Thus between our preparations to move and settle down in an island (this time), we’ll also be inserting in our schedule the remaining travel plans we have for the rest of 2013.

September 6 to 9 – Boracay

Boracay from Boracy Camera Live Screenshot

Screenshot photo from Boracay Live Cam – August 15, 2013 – That’s White Beach!

 Definitely my first time going there!!! I’m sooo bloody excited that I booked our flight and hotel last June.  We’ll go there during those dates to celebrate my mother’s birthday.  Mama will be turning 48 this September and it’s really my long-time plan to bring her to a relaxing vacation because she’s so overworked “nannying” her grand kids plus all the “bone-breaking” work at home.  I really can’t imagine my mother’s hard-work all these years.  I intend to bring papa as well but he refused because there’s no one around to check on my younger sister and her kids (her husband is currently away due to work).

Frugal Tips in Booking a Flight to Boracay I booked two one-way flights. Booking a round-trip flight would cost you more especially if your flight destination is to Bora.  Luckily, I managed to grab four seats that were on sale.  The base fare is Php399 (per head). (:  In our flight back to Cebu, I booked the Kalibo to Cebu flight to avoid the very costly Caticlan to Cebu fare.  Take note that the Kalibo to Cebu fare is not on sale but it only costs Php588 (excluding all kinds of taxes and fees that would make your head spin).

October 18 to 20 – Bacolod

Masskara Festival Bacolod City

Photo Credit

We’ve been planning to go to Bacolod because it’s just a ferry away from Toledo City.  Fortunately, a friend will also go there during the Masskara Festival.  That friend told me that she knows a very affordable inn there with high speed Wi-Fi.  Soulmate, a close friend of mine, will also come along with us.  Pretty much excited for this. (:

Frugal Tips in Going to Bacolod – If you are base near Toledo City, the best frugal way to go there is via  ferry.  The fare is only Php200 plus.  If you are  from Cebu City, you have the option to travel by ocean jet or via airplane.  Go for airplane if there’s a seat sale but the ocean jets are advisable if you’re on budget.

December 2 to 6 – Singapore

Singapore City

Photo Credit

This is a big year-ender for our 2013 travels.  I just got my passport earlier this month (after almost a year of processing!!).  I’ve chosen those dates because December 5 will be dude’s (my partner) birthday.  We’ve been planning for years to travel abroad together and 2013 is our lucky year.  I feel so lucky (again) because I managed to book a one-way  flight (Cebu – SG) when Cebu Pacific had a promo.  The base fare is Php1, 499.  Usually the base fare (if there’s no promo) is around Php4,000 plus.  I booked a separate flight for SG – Cebu and got a promo fare but it’s quite expensive compared to the latter since it’s priced in Singaporean dollars.  The total cost of the flight including all the taxes and add-on fees (back and forth) is Php7, 700 plus per head.  That’s Php4,000 plus cheaper compared to regular airfare and a round-trip flight.

Frugal Trips in Booking a Flight to Singapore – Never book a round-trip flight unless the airline company announced that they have a round-trip promo which very rarely happens.  Book two separate one-way flights to avoid paying more.

 

Praying and hoping for good weather during these scheduled trips.  I’m so happy that I’m slowly realizing my dreams to travel this year.  I’m looking forward for more trips next year.

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Lapu-lapu SuTukil Resto – A Big Rip Off! #ReviewTuesday

The day we returned here in Cebu from our Manila trip, dude and I already decided that we’ll eat at Sutukil.  The fact that I’ve already went to Sutukil (a seafood restaurant near Capitol) made me think that we’ll be dining at a nice restaurant with fresh and sumptuous seafood dishes in the menu.  But, the next thing that happened to our food trip in Lapu-lapu is contrary to what I was expecting.

The Foursquare Search

Since I have no idea where Sutukil is located in Lapu-lapu, I used Foursquare to search for its specific location.  I found out that it is located near Mactan Shrine.  Note: I had no idea that the one I found in Foursquare is not the restaurant that I was looking.

When we arrived at the place, I was a bit shocked because it was absolutely contrary to what I expected.  I was expecting the same Sutukil resto, the one we dined in a few years ago for my friend’s birthday celebration.

The moment we stepped out of the taxi, we were immediately mobbed by men, each of them was convincing us to choose their Sutukil resto.  Another man, offered us umbrella to avoid the heat of the sun.  I was like – is this a joke?  Are we lost?  And then the truth just sank in.  We were indeed at Sutukil but it is not the resto where I dined in a few years ago. ):

SuTuKil Restaurants in Lapu-lapu

The SuTuKil in Lapu-lapu is a cluster of locally-owned small restaurants that offer the famous Cebu dishes – Su (Sugba), Tu (Tuwa), Kil (Kilaw).  I was actually a bit disappointed when we arrived at the actual area.  While the the salesmen were busy convincing us to check each of the resto they represented, I can’t help but feel a sense of dread – something inside my head was telling me to leave and look for another place to eat.  But, before I can make a decision, my mouth had already spoken.  I’ve already told the “salesman” that we will be dining at their resto because it had a second floor and has a view by the beach.

Sutukil LapulapuCredit as tagged

This is how the Sutukil restaurants look like.  The unfortunate thing is until now I still can’t recall the name of the  resto where we dined in.

Fredz Sutukil LapulapuPhoto Credit: Pierre Marius

 I tried to search for some photos online and I got this one.  Still, I’m not sure if this is the resto.  All I can remember is the cashier area that is decorated by seashells.   I only managed to take photos of the inside.  See pictures below.

SuTuKil Lapulapu

This is how the inside looks like.  We were going to the 2nd floor because we were being promised of a good lunch view there.

Lunch View SuTuKil Lapulapu

But it was not what I expected.  Though the place is airy and has a good view of the beach, it smells muddy and surrounded by hostile people and children begging for money from the guests.  But, all these downsides shouldn’t have mattered if the foods are good and if they are fairly priced.

The Rip Off Menu

Though this story may seem a bit sad but we actually have a very hearty lunch.  Part of our laugh trip were the unsuspecting Koreans (who also got ripped off big time – no idea how much they have paid but I’m quite sure the rate is higher than ours).  We were also serenaded by a group of in-house “band” who also asked for a payment for their 10-minute show.

Moving on, after having so much fun, criticizing our food and our lunch neighbors, we got the shock of our lives when the bill arrived.  The total cost of our lunch is Php1, 500 plus.  I can’t recall the exact total cost but that’s the very close estimate.  WTF!  I can’t believe I’ll be paying this amount over a 3-course menu and a side dish in a local restaurant situated in a shanty place, smelly muddy beach, hostile people all over the area, and worst, a facility that’s only at par with ordinary “Karenderya” (tiny restaurants in street corners).  Below are the photos of the foods that we ordered.

Mud Crab in Chilli Sauce Sutukil Lapulapu

This is Mud Crab in Chilli Sauce.  We only had four of this because I felt (when I ordered) the price for each crab is super expensive.

Mud Crab in Chilli Sauce 2 Sutukil Lapulapu

Though it tastes good, my friend commented that the sauce is purely made from ketchup.  The other two of my companions echoed the same opinion.

Grilled Fish Sutukil Lapulapu

There’s really nothing special with this grilled fish.  I have no fucking idea why it cost us a lot.  This is from the fish that I ordered.  The waiter/cook in the counter offered us that they will grill half of the fish and they will make a “tinula” of the other half.

Tinulang Isda Sutukil Lapulapu

This is the rip off Tinula that they served.  The head of the fish is like an omen that foretells our ominous fate. ):

Kinilaw na Gusu - Sutukil Lapulapu

The Kinilaw na Gusu which normally costs Php10 to 30 at local Karenderyas cost us a lot in this food trip.  How fucking great is that?  Because I get so agitated after looking at the receipt, I forgot to keep it after we exited from that bloody restaurant.  The only thing that I can’t forget is the additional payments they asked us for the cooking service – Mad Crab Chilli Sauce Cooking Fee, Fish Tinula Cooking Fee, and Grilled Fish Cooking Fee.  Each payment costs at least Php80.00 (that’s a chicken meal in KFC already!!!).

Normally, I really don’t complain about food prices if it is fairly priced.  Like those restaurants in IT Park and Ayala Terraces that offer good ambiance, service, and of course a menu that is jam-packed with sumptuous dishes.  But, this one I really can’t just let go.  The place is awful, the food is so-so, and the pricing is a BIG rip off!!! No wonder we were the only guests (except the Koreans) on that day.

Please, please, please.  For your own wallet and palate sake, avoid this Sutukil Restaurants near Mactan Shrine.  For affordable yet super delectable seafood dishes you can try AA BBQ and Neo-Neo.

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Off to Manila!

I’m currently packing while dude is catching up with work and min0tte already soundly asleep.  I’m writing now via my tab because I’m not comfortable using dude’s laptop.

Our flight schedule tomorrow is around 1pm and I’m intently praying that the weather would be good.  Rain is not travel-friendly.

First time together in Manila

This trip would be quite memorable because it will be our first time to travel together as a group there.  My last trip there was way back 2009 and dude’s was on 2010.  For this time, it would be purely travel and a bit of  leisure.

Tagaytay trip cancelled

Due to time constraints, we are postponing our Tagaytay trip. I am setting up another sched to travel there so that we can stay at the spot longer.  May be after we moved to dude’s hometown.

Itinerary

I drafted one but I’m sure it won’t be used.  It’s more exciting not to plan. (;

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A Few More Months to A Location Independent Lifestyle

It’s been almost a year now that I am readying myself to embark into a radical life-long journey that would change my life forever. If not because of my partner’s 8-5 job, we may have already been whisked to our dream destinations – a distant reality in the past with no possibility to attain. At least that reality is not that far now. (:

Moto Pitogo Bohol

When I thought of traveling before, I often scolded myself not to think about it because it’s way too expensive and my 8-5 job salary is not enough to support frequent travel expenses. However, these days I allowed myself to dream and I’m determined to make it make it happen.

Poor People CAN also Travel

White Island Camiguin

Despite the common knowledge that frequent traveling is only for the rich and wealthy, I’m gonna prove to myself that it’s not entirely true. The internet era and the increase of competition in the airline industry has given people from all walks of life an equal access to vast opportunities that can only be attained by a limited few before. Budget travel became a niche and more people now are exploring the beauty of the world with a mere budget. Sounds impossible to happen but quite attainable if you have the passion, guts, and of course a steady income that would support your excursion expenses. The question here is, how can you travel without sacrificing your source of income?

Location Independence – the Key to Budget Travel

Be Resort Lapu-lapu Mactan Cebu

The darkest part of my working life happened more than 2 years ago. It was the time when I decided to quit my full-time office job to preserve my PRIDE. Fast forward now, I can’t help but thank that person (who made a fool out of herself) for pushing me out from that rat hole of a place unto a world full of limitless opportunities and possibilities. My gratefulness is really immeasurable! Thank you so much! Your are my f*cking Angel. LOL!

For more than a year now I discovered a world so different and more rewarding compared to the 8-5 office cubicle job most of my peers are aiming at. For the very first time in more than 6 years, I can sincerely tell myself that I’m happy and contented with what I am doing. I can’t thank enough the Lord above for the blessings that he showered me and also for surrounding me with people who are very supportive and who have loved me unconditionally. (Note: I was still a believer (but not religious) when I wrote this blog post.)

Enough of my personal drama and now’s for the main part, Location Independence. If this is the very first time that you’ve heard of this phrase, then check here for a more elaborate meaning. As the term suggested, it is a working lifestyle that doesn’t depend on your location. As long as you are connected to the internet then you can work anywhere you want and whenever you feel like working. That’s my work’s set-up for over a year now and I’m enjoying it immensely. I can’t believe the luck I got and how blessed I am to have this kind of job. And though, I didn’t become rich because of this, I’m proud that I’m earning more than I’ve earned before.

At the present, even though my work is not location dependent, I still have to pause my travel plans to wait for Dude (my partner). Dude still needs to resign from his job so that we can travel together. I’m also waiting for the end of the lock-in contract from our internet service provider. It will end 3 months from now and I can’t wait any longer. I’m so bloody excited!

Here are my top 5 reasons why Location Independence allows you to travel for cheap.

Alona Beach Panglao Bohol

1. You can stay longer – Most travel vacations are bloody expensive because it would normally take a week or 3 days, the shortest. You need to go back home because you need to work, thus the fun is short-lived but it cost you dearly. Traveling while working, on the other hand, lessens the cost as you can stay in that particular location longer, thus you don’t need to go home right away. Instead of staying at expensive hotels you can stay in budget apartelles or pension house.

2. More flexible travel schedule – Because you can work anywhere, it is easier for you to change your travel sched depending on the airline promos or sales. You can also create your own itinerary by choosing routes that offer cheaper air or travel fare. This way you won’t be burdened with expensive airfare especially if you are traveling abroad.

3. No need to return home for the sake of your job – Have you experienced that heavy feeling every time a travel vacation ends and you have no other choice but to return home? It actually spoils the experience and it would cost you another long weeks or months of hard work before you can escape that boredom again. Time is a luxury and that’s the very jewel our 8 to 5 jobs are stealing away from us. That’s bloody expensive!

In conclusion, my short introduction about location independence may sound really easy to most of you but I tell you, it’s not that easy. It’s actually very hard and the challenging part is, it comes with big risks. But where’s the fun if it’s just a piece of cake?

How about you? Do you dream of traveling for good? Any tips on how to travel for cheap? Your comments are greatly appreciated. (:

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My Top 7 Frugal Resolutions for 2013

Wow!  Is it 2013 already?  I’ve been hiding in my bunker and just managed to get out now.  LOL!

Seriously, I’m so happy that I have now a bit of time to blog that I can’t stop myself not to joke.  The stress of overworking and settling personal matters is beyond me now.  Whew!  What a relief!  I feel so free I can pack my bags now and travel the whole wide world (I wish, but I’m preparing for this in the very near future).  LOL!

Anyway, what am I doing here writing about resolutions when the first quarter of the year is ending?  Resolutions are often written in New Year’s month, right?  Well, I don’t need to follow the norm and do that.  Resolutions should be made every time you fail.  The only thing we can do when we fail is to get back on our feet and plan again on how to succeed.  At least, that’s the way I think.

Honestly, I’m a bit ashamed every time I look at the title of this blog – A Frugal Cebuana Blogger.  Frugal my ASS!  There’s no frugality on how I live the past few months – none and nothing at all! So what am I doing here blogging about frugality and stuff? Well, this blog is my anchor that pulls me back every time I got swayed into a different bloody direction.  As overspending is a bad habit of mine, this blog would somehow remind me that I should get back to my original resolution and slowly get away from my old lifestyle.

A frugal lifestyle is not easy.  It would take complete self-restrain and discipline.  So here are my top 7 frugal resolutions that I should keep in my bloody head starting NOW!

My Top 7 Frugal Resolutions for 2013

1.   Stop being gallant and let others pay for me.  Yes, yes, yes!  I have this “pride” thing in me that I often have the urge that I don’t need any one to pay for me.  It’s actually a habit, and oddly I always feel satisfied every time I’m the one who pays the bill.  Stupidity or generosity, this is something that I need to minimize to control my expenses.

2.  STOP eating out.  For God’s sake!! This habit is sooo horrendous!  My partner and I often eat out and we often spend over a thousand pesos, and that’s just for the two of us – a friggin’ waste of money as we can always eat a meal worth Php200 (or lower than that) at home.   Jeezzz!

3.  Turn off the PC and its electric fan before dozing off.   This is actually a product of my laziness.  Our monthly electric bill always shocks me.  Every time I went to bed, I often think that I’ll only sleep for around 3 hours and get back to work.  But, that never happened.  I often wake up 8 hours after that and when I checked my PC; it’s still running as well as the electric fan that I use to keep it from overheating.  Aside from wasting money, I’m also endangering our lives by keeping these appliances on when we are asleep.  I need to stop this right now or else….  Regret always comes at the end.

4.  Learn to say NO, NO, NO! For those who know me personally, especially my family and close friends, they would definitely say that I’m the generous type.  I seldom decline when a friend or a family member would ask me to give or lend them some money.   Once they approached me, I often feel obliged to help them as I always think that it’s better that I’m the one who give than I’m the one who beg.  Stupid or compassionate, my habit to always say yes is not helping me financially.  Why?  Because not all those who borrowed me some money pay me on time and a few haven’t paid their dues at all. ):

5.  Start meal planning to cut back expenses in food.  I often read about meal planning on some frugal blogs that I often visit.  But, I never really attempted to try it.  NOW is the time to start planning for our meals.

6.  Create a daily expenses tracker.  I’m done creating this and I just started recording our daily expenses.  This will help us in minimizing our day to day expenses by giving us some clear factors which of the stuff we buy are not that important and which are the ones that are causing us to spend a lot.

7.  Create a monthly savings tracker.  This one is of utmost important.  I really need this to track my achievement and to measure if I have maintained my resolve.  For those who are like me, still struggling to get away from their overspending habit, then I strongly recommend that you create this tracker first.

So, what else?  I really want to add an 8th resolution but I can’t do it right now.  My 8th resolution would be to stop hanging out in coffee shops.  But, at the moment, I really need to go to one every time I’m not at home as my work requires me to have a stable internet connection.  F*ck  SmartBro!  Its connectivity and speed can’t be trusted.    Yes, I have a SmartBro USB Broadband stick but it’s a big failure. (I really want to elaborate this but it would take me another blog post to share my experience.)

Let’s get back to my pending 8th resolution.  I really, really want to avoid coffee shops but going to my fave shops is now one of my pastimes.  Also, I’m sooo addicted to anything coffee.  If a doctor would examine my intestines, he will surely find remnants of coffee in there.  I consume coffee daily and I can’t work without it in my system. Tsk.

 

N.B.: If you are reading this post up to this line, then I’m sure, just like me you’re also struggling to live frugally or you’re also planning to live as one.   For sure, you have your reasons why you decided to adapt a frugal lifestyle.  Share them by commenting below.

 

Photo above is used under Creative Commons License. Credit.

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Morning Before Super Typhoon Pablo Will Hit

Here’s a panoramic shot (180 degree angle) on how our neighborhood (at the right side of where we are residing) looks like as of this writing.

Though it can’t be seen in the photo, rain showers are already pouring consistently and the wind is starting to blow restlessly.  The sky is very cloudy and every one in the neighborhood is staying inside.

Still praying that the wind won’t blow any stronger and the rain fall won’t go heavy…

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Starting My Own Food Storage from Scratch

Photo used under Creative Commons License | Credit

One important aspect of living frugally is to become self-reliant and be prepared for any emergencies or calamities that may happen any time. Emergencies don’t only include natural calamities like earth quakes, storms, floods, and the like. Job-loss, economic recession, becoming a victim of thieves, helping your neighbors in dire need, are also part of these emergencies. And, take note, I’m not even talking about TEOTWAWKI (the end of the world as we know it) here as I don’t believe in that kind of stuff (hello NatGeo!).

My Basic One-Month Food Storage Plan

As I’m still a neophyte in this kind of prepping task, I decided to create a very basic monthly plan in stocking my food storage. Since I only go to the supermarket every week, I will buy the items that I will stock in weekly basis. I will only buy a few items so that it won’t affect my weekly budget.

1st Month (December)

Week 1 – 4 canned goods, 5-kilo rice

Week 2 – 4 packs dried goods (viand), 4 packs pasta

Week 3 – 4 canned goods, 1 dozen noodles

Week 4 – 2-kilo sugar, 2 boxes of flour, 2 bottles bothane gas

I’m not sure if I will religiously follow the items listed above but I will surely note it in my next food storage post so that I can keep track of my progress.

Top Foods that You Can Stock in Your Food Storage

As I already mentioned, I’m still new to this food storage stuff and I am still doing my own research. When I did some googling a while ago, I found a list of foods that can be stored for a very long period of time, there shelf life can last for a few decades. Check them out below.

9 Foods That Can Outlast You from StillTasty.com

1. Honey

2. Rice

3. Sugar

4. Hard Liquor

5. Maple Syrup

6. Pure Vanilla Extract

7. Distilled White Vinegar

8. Cornstarch & Salt

More details about this list by visiting this link.

Have you thought of building your own food storage? Or, have you already built one? Share your tips and suggestions by commenting below.

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Why I Decided that I Should Live Frugally

Living a frugal life is not easy.This is the very reason why I decided to blog about it so that I can keep track of my progress.For people like me who can’t resist the temptation in spending money every time something comes to fancy – living frugally can be very difficult to achieve.But, I will try my best to get my long term goals and will restrain myself from falling back to the old me.

Going back to the title of this post, there are several life-changing reasons why I decided to live frugally.Not just to save money and resources, but also to save myself from relying on anyone mentally, physically, and emotionally.

To Save Myself from Emotional Disasters and Meltdowns

Photo used under Creative Commons License | Photo Credit

Frugal living for me doesn’t just involve saving money and the like.For me, it is a lifestyle that helps a person become stronger when it comes to dealing with his or her emotions and relationships.Being frugal emotionally means you know how to control your behavior and has the skills to determine when to stop investing your emotions to someone.

Frugality in terms of dealing with relationships means the ability to know which kind of people to establish bonds with.It is the skill on how to choose those ones you are comfortable with and stop hanging out with those ones that bring anxieties and depressions.In short, only hang out with people you are comfortable with – those ones whom you are confident in showing the REAL YOU.

To Become Self-Reliant and Independent

Photo used under Creative Commons License | Photo Credit

Are you still being waked up by your mother every morning to eat breakfast? Do you still ask your husband to put the gallon of water on the dispenser?Do you still call for a computer technician to reformat your hard-drive?These are simple tasks that you can do on your own but you are too used of having someone do it for you.What will you do if one day your mom is already gone, or your husband left you, or you can’t fix your PC because there’s no technician in sight?

Self-reliance is one basic human survival skill most of us living in this modern world have already forgotten.We become more and more reliant on modern technology which becomes a great disadvantage in times of calamities and emergencies.Just imagine how you can live without electricity.

Relying on myself is something that I’ve been practicing for almost a year now.I don’t need anyone to put a gallon of water for me on top of the dispenser.I can fix minor plumbing problems.I can carry a bicycle by myself up to the 2nd floor.I cook my own meals.I pay the monthly bills on my own.I can fix my PC any time.I can carry big pails of water.These things might be mundane and ordinary, but I’m proud I can do them all by myself.

To Be Debt-Free and Achieve Financial Freedom

Photo used under Creative Commons License | Photo Credit

Most of us Filipinos are willing to do anything just to make an impression especially during fiestas, birthdays, wedding, and any kind of parties to the point of burying ourselves in debts.Our hospitality is taking a toll on us as we are already spending beyond our means.This often results to financial instability and prods others to take on more debts to cover their other debts.This is definitely a very sad situation.

My goal is to live a debt-free life and become more financially stable before I reach 40.I don’t want to become one of those middle-aged people who are still struggling financially and are still living paycheck to paycheck.I want to enjoy my retirement years in peace, living in a small farm, feeding my chickens and goats, planting flowers and veggies…

Lastly, I don’t want to become one of those Filipino parents who are very dependent to their children.  I don’t want to become a burden to anyone, especially to my future children.I think this tradition of Filipino parents being very reliant to their off springs has in some other ways hinder them (children) to enjoy life during their younger years.

So, can you see yourself living frugally? Share your struggles and experiences by commenting below.

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It’s been a While

Yes. I can’t recall the exact date when I posted a really personal post on this blog. It’s been a while…this four-word phrase makes me look back what have I been doing all these years that I only managed to write a personal blog post now. I must be very busy that I don’t have any time to drop even a one-paragraph post to update how I’ve been doing. Since this is my personal blog, this site should have been filled with my personal ramblings, but I chose to avoid sharing my personal stuff here (at least this is only applicable in the past).

A Big Thank You to My Guest Post Contributors

This blog should have been put into extinction if not because of the help of some great guest bloggers. Their contributions help sustained the blogging drought that I went through and keeps this online portal going. Fortunately, starting from now, I proclaim that the drought is officially over! Hooray!

Empress of Drac Gearing towards a New Direction

I decided to slowly let go of the “living-in-the-moment” and “enjoy-the-present” me. My experiences from these past few years have taught me how to obtain real happiness and contentment through frugal living and by solely relying on myself. If you are a close-friend of mine, you must be really surprise but I’m quite serious this time. I will be using this blog to keep track of my progress and also to share my newly discovered ideas in living frugally and independently.

FARMING, My Newly-Found Ambition

Would you believe that FARMING is my newly-found ambition in life? I can see the old me raising a vegetable, poultry, and animal farm. The mere thought of this makes me feel happy and motivated. If I have to choose between living in the city and in the province, without a blink of an eye I would choose the latter. During these past few years, I discovered how living in the city can make a person more aggressive, depressed, anxious, unhappy, and most of all OLD. (I will discuss this realization in more details in my next blog post.)

Making a Living through Freelancing

Everyone in the Philippines goes ABROAD (to work). At least, that’s how I can describe it in a more exaggerated way. But, seriously speaking, going abroad is the only way most of my country men can find good opportunities to improve their way of living. Here in the Philippines, the government is filled of corrupt officials who are not busy serving the people but are occupied in fattening their pockets (BAD KARMA may be with THEM).

Since I graduated from college a few years ago, I’ve been hounded by colleagues and friends to go abroad. Well, who won’t be tempted if you can get your total worth of annual salary here in just a month by working there? But, the thought of being away from my loved ones was unbearable and I was quite contented with my salary. But then, a few years of working in the office makes me realize one thing – I don’t want to be like this forever. Sitting in the office 8 hours a day and receiving a salary bimonthly, and most of all working under close-minded superiors and bosses – can’t just tolerate it. Thus, I went full-time (flexi-time) freelancing. And I must say – I found freedom in working for the very first time, and the income? It’s just like you’re working abroad. (I will be featuring a lot about Freelancing on this blog, so keep on visiting.)

Other Topics that will be featured

Aside from Frugal Living, Self-Reliance, and Freelancing, I will also be featuring more about my other interest such as Cebu, Foods, Books, KDrama, North Korea, Gore and Horror Movies, and Health & Fitness. I’m also planning to start some advocacies (hope I can make them happen).

Have a Happy Christmas and a Merry New Year! Aja!

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Who is the Better Cebu City Mayor – Tomas Osmeña or Mike Rama?

Photo Credit: www.everythingcebu.com, www.123people.com

I’ve heard lots of feedback from each of their loyal followers, yet who can really say which one performs better?  These two well-known political figures who used to be “buddies” constantly bicker and throw all sorts of accusations at each other, which result to massive negative public impression towards them.  But, which of the two performs better as a Cebu City Mayor – Tomas, who served us for 9 years or Rama, who has already served us for 2 years and is still the current Mayor of the city?

Participate now in our poll and make your choice.  Our poll area is located at the left sidebar.  Once you’re done voting, try to comment on this blog-post and share the reason/s why you chose Osmeña or Rama.

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5 Reasons Why I Prefer Palawan Pawnshop over Other Money Transfer Services

Palawan Pawnshop Money Transfer Service Philippines copy

I’m a returning and loyal client of Palawan Pawnshop.  Do you want to know why?

I’ve already been to lots of money transfer services and most of them didn’t meet my expectations.  Some have very rude clerks and others employed security guards who are not trained how to treat a customer properly.  Others, on the other hand, have unnecessary rules that make the lives of customers difficult, to the point of ruining their day.

I believe that money transfer services, aside from the obvious responsibility of keeping and safely transferring their client’s money, have to be very careful in handling their customers during transaction process.  Unfortunately, some of these money transfer service providers are doing the opposite.

Below are my reasons why I prefer Palawan Pawnshop over other Money Transfer Service providers.

5. They give reasonable consideration to customers – Compared to other money transfer services, it is only in Palawan pawnshop that I experience hassle-free transactions.  They only need one identification card to check your identity and you are good to go.  Others would ask you all sort of IDs and even require you to photocopy them for the sake of this and that.  They are more concerned to the customers’ needs than just being paranoid of being faked by someone.  Well, who would fake an identity just for the sake of getting PHP 500? I have this very bad experience in one local money transfer service that I blog in here.

4. Clerks and guards are customer friendly – I really, really hate going to these money transfer service providers who employed unfriendly guards and clerks.  They have this annoying attitude of checking you out as if you are a thief.  In Palawan Pawnshop, I am at ease doing my transaction because they are genuinely friendly and don’t have the habit of meddling with other people’s stuff.  The guards also don’t interfere with any transaction if his attention is not needed.

3. Quickest money transfer – Once your transaction has been processed, it will just take a few seconds and your money can be claimed already.  They have a centralized system that records all transaction in one database.  Once you send money here from Cebu, it will automatically reflect in their system, enabling their branch, for example in Manila, to know that you transferred this amount of money.  Your loved ones in Manila can then claim the money you sent.

2. Dual confirmation through texts – Once the transfer of money to a specific branch is done, you will receive a confirmation through text that your money has already been sent, and at the same time, the money receiver (i.e. your wife) will also receive a confirmation through text that someone has sent her money through Palawan and it is now available for claiming.  Also, after your money has been claimed, your will receive another text, confirming that the money you sent has been successfully claimed.

1. Very affordable money transfer rate – Compared to other money transfer services, Palawan Pawnshop has maintained lower and more affordable rates.  This is because in spite of promoting their services through very expensive advertisements, they choose to improve their customer service relations instead.

One thing that most businesses forget is that, their customers are their services’ or products’ best promoters.  It’s a shame some are relying on their millions of pesoses TV ads, and celebrities who haven’t even used any of their services.

Photo Credit: BSP

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Sleep Paralysis, a Bad Spirit Encounter

This is the most similar photo I found that matches how the dark spirit looks like.  No eyes, nose, or any facial features but it’s a girl of about 4 or 5 years of age.

Saturday afternoon of last week, I went to the city to visit my parents and felt so lucky that I got to sleep at my nephew’s bed. After like 2 hours of playing with Ogoro chan (my nephew) I felt so exhausted and dosed off.

I had like random visions and interactions with familiar people in my dream and then suddenly I was on my nephew’s bed – paralyzed and scared. A black spirit of an angry girl (who comes from my previous dream) was forcing her way to enter my body. The experience was so vivid I believed for some time that it’s real.

The energy from the dark spirit of the girl was so aggressive in entering my body that I can feel its heat. As ironic as it sounds, the spirit has a temperature and my co-CBSi pals laughed at me when I related this story to them.

As I struggled with all my might to push the spirit away, I tried to scream and asked help from my father who at that time was busy talking with my mother outside my little nephew’s “room” (as what the sleep paralysis experience fed my brain). As I tried to scream and noticed that no sound was coming out from my mouth, I started to understand that I was having a “nightmare” again, with the same situation but different assailant this time.

I tried to move and brushed the spirit away who started to enter my body making an entry on my forehead but my effort was futile. I can’t move and although I can open my mouth it produced no sound. Though I knew that I was having a sleep paralysis and it’s just a part of my dream, my brain persistently told me to get away from the spirit or else I will be possessed with an evil entity.

In my persistent resistance against the dark spirit which was slowly settling (I felt its presence while it slowly enters my body because of its “warm” temperature) inside me, I started praying the “Our Father” and when I tried to wrestle again I found a holy rosary hanging on my neck. A flood of sudden relief temporarily made me calm but I still can’t move.

The dark spirit was coming back at me again (it sort of flushed away when I got the rosary) angrier and the heat it emitted was more intense compared to its first attempt. I bravely opposed its will to enter my body and I recited the holy rosary aloud. While praying I tried my best to move. I wiggle the toes of feet while trying again and again to shout. And in my very last shout, a sound successfully escaped my mouth and my father found me trembling with eyes shut still shouting. He woke me up though I knew I was already awake since the moment the spirit started to forcefully enter my body.

My other sleep paralysis experiences are accurately illustrated in the documentary video below.



Photo Source

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Irritating Thought of the Day: Over-sensationalized Royal Wedding

Photo Source: I-Enthusiast.com

Have you noticed lately how the mainstream media most specially TV networks over-sensationalized the wedding of a certain royal couple?  Honestly, I find it too shallow and too insensitive to the current situation of the Filipino people.

I don’t consider myself a kill-joy but the constant flashing and news updates about something I think most people don’t care about really got into my nerves and I’m not alone with this sentiment.  All members of my family got bored and and are wondering if TV networks have received some sort of payments from the Buckingham Palace to promote the so called “modern fairytale wedding of the century”. LOL!

I know that I sound so sarcastic and indifferent.  Can’t help it. I’m not suggesting that people should not celebrate weddings or should not acknowledge royalties.  It’s on how the media over-sensationalized something that’s not even that important.  I mean with the country’s current situation, who would be happy watching royalties spending millions for a very luxurious wedding?  Too much irony in the world.  There, I just dropped it.

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Happy Mothers Day, Dang!

Mama Adang with Papa Troy

Happy Mothers Day to my witty, hardworking, understanding, and sharp-humored mother.  Thank you for:

  • always being there
  • understanding my flaws
  • silently supporting my endeavors
  • cracking “humorous” jokes
  • loving Papa Troy
  • cooking the family’s “favorite” dishes
  • updating us the latest neighborhood “news”
  • loving us unconditionally

My mother gives up her teaching career for US.  I got nothing else to say but THANK YOU.  Thank you, Ma.  We love you.

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Annoying Credit Card Agents

Photo by Son Of Peter

Have you been a victim of these credit card agents who would just suddenly call you at home and would forcefully ask you of your latest ITR copy, telling you that it’s the only lacking document so that your credit card application will be processed?

My first reaction was actually like, Oh, WAIT!  What’s the name of your bank again?  And then I went blank because I couldn’t remember that I applied for a credit card account to that bloody bank.  The very loud agent would then argue that I did sent an application and I should fax the lacking document so that I can start using their instant credit card.  And, I was like stupefied.

And after I hang up the phone, everything just sank in.  How did that bloody agent got all my personal information?  I only have two existing accounts and they are like the best credit cards that I have so far.  And I don’t have any plans to apply for another account because it would be just a waste of money and time.  Handling two credit card accounts is definitely not easy.  It’s just that, I want to maintain a good credit history for future purposes.

Anyways, that’s actually not the first time that a credit card agent tried to lure me to apply to their bank.  I’m just wondering how they get all my personal information.  I think someone is selling data from one company to another.  Something fishy is going on here.  Tsk…tsk.

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Have You Joined a SEO contest?

Webthesurfi Rugs Webdesign are the keywords that we are currently competing to top in the Google SERPs. Clairemont Webdesign spearheaded this contest, which started last middle of March and will end in the 2nd week of April.

This is my very first SEO contest, and I really feel its thrill. My original intention why I joined, is to drive new traffic to my main site. Winning is not really my aim because truthfully, I still have a lot of things to learn about search engine optimization.

When I joined this contest, I was actually thinking that I would learn a lot about SEO since I will do my best to at least put my entry in a higher rank. Thus, it will drive me to be more resourceful and find things that I don’t know about.

At this very moment, I can already tell how those 4 entries made their way to the top. And it’s very obvious that their efforts are much larger than mine, though I believe that I also did a tremendous job so that my entry won’t end up in the bottom list.

One thing I learned about being part in this contest is, if you are wise enough, you can actually mimic the strategy of the other contestants. This, is because of the web’s transparency.

A contestant who is wondering why this certain entry is constantly topping the SERP, would eventually do some analysis and will pull out resources to diagnose it. After the nosing around, if you are really keen to details, before you know it, you already discovered their secrets.

For the first quarter of this year, there are only 3 keywords that won’t get easily erased from my mind…webthesurfi rugs webdesign.

Anyways, have you joined a contest lately?

N.B.: I wrote this post on the last week of March and shared it to my forum comrades.  I posted this now here in my main site to at least push my SERP rank.

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