Sunday, January 31, 2010

Gadgets

While the world is currently going gaga over the new iPad, I have yet to purchase either an ipod or an iphone. In short I haven't tried the vaunted line of Apple products.

That being said, I do hope I would be able to try some of them soon. Now that there are already new gadget releases, maybe the older versions of the iphones, ipods and other apple products would be more suited to my budget, since the companies would clear out their old stock. The only problem is that there might be a chance that accompanying iphone accessories compatible with the older models may be harder to come by.

Some more techy friends suggest that it's more practical to get the model just previous to the current one, so that price would be a bit cheaper but it won't be so old as to be passe.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Online Payment?

My life insurance is due this month! I do have a 1 month grace period, though, so I have until the end of February to pay. The problem is finding the time to actually go and pay. I wish I have the option to pay my insurance online, so that it would easier for me. Anyway, I do have online banking, paypal and GCash, and credit cards too! I hope my insurance company considers this so that it won't be a pain whenever I need to pay for it.

I know other bills have the option to be paid online. This is especially true of credit card bills. However, utility bills can also be paid online if you have online banking. Why not insurance? Or maybe they already have that option but I just wasn't updated?

Anyway, I hope I could pay for that as soon as I get the time, because I've been paying for that insurance for 10 years already! It's a whole life insurance so I only need 7 years of payment before it becomes self-funding. Yey!

Why Pinoys Migrate

Allow me to rejoice with my cousin as his wife just gave birth to their first child, a bouncing baby boy, just today. My family does not practice giving out Rocky Patel cigars for baby boys but maybe they will? :)

My grandmother will be delighted! My son's been the only grandchild for almost 4 years, then last year, there were 2 more babies (my cousin's and mine). Then 1 more baby this year!

And for me, they made the right choice -- having the baby in Canada. With all the benefits that Canadian citizens get, it's bound to better for the baby rather than being here in the Philippines, where the kind of benefits -- health, childcare, education etc. -- just don't exist.

Sigh...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Seach For Philippine High School For The Arts Scholars

It's only a month or so to go before we start seeing those graduation invitations or announcements. It's almost time for our graduates to go to the next level, whether it be high school, college or the world!

For parents of talented soon-to-be-elementary graduates, have you decided where your kid will continue his/her studies? Will it be in the same school?

If your kid is inclined in the arts, with exceptional talents in any of the fields of dance (ballet or folk dance), music (instrumentalist or vocalist), theater, visual arts, and creative writing, and you are okay with him/her living away from you (near Mount Makiling), you might want to consider letting him/her apply to the Philippine High School for the Arts. Tuition, board and lodging are free! They only accept 40 students though, so screening is tough.

Click here for more details.

Style Or Function In Lighting?

I get different opinions from my mother and my husband.

My mother prefers to go for style. She prefers the look of Dolan lighting, yellow lights, soft muted lights. Problem is, it's sometimes more energy consuming and difficult to work under.

My husband, on the other hand, prefers function. He prefers the long fluorescent lights that give maximum working lights with less energy consumption but looks about as stylish as factory lighting.

I'd go for both. Get the stylish lights for the areas which don't need much illumination but need more pizzazz (like the living room) and the functional lights for the study and the kitchen.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Best Life Insurance Depends On Some Factors

Things to consider when getting life insurance: age, budget, and presence/absence + number of dependents.

For example, if you're young and single, it's better to get whole life insurance. It's a bit more expensive but in the long run it's gonna be more practical. That's because you're more likely to be at the prime of your life, with no major illnesses -- which means lower premiums which you lock in.

If you're already nearing retirement but you still have dependents, a term life insurance may be more budget friendly for you since whole life insurance would be much more expensive for you, given that you are already considered to be more at risk for illnesses.

I do not really see the need for getting insurance for children since they do not provide for me -- I provide for them. There is really no loss of income for the parents if the kids (I'm talking non-earning minors here) pass away. And, really, the chances of that is pretty small. Hence, parents getting life insurance for their kids is not really very practical.

Of course, I'm not an expert. I believe your estate planner or financial planner will be in a better position to recommend the best policy for you.

On Insurance

People are becoming more and more aware that insurance is very helpful, if not essential to all of us. We need a fallback in case we become sick or disabled and could no longer provide for our family. Our family needs to be able to stand up financially even after we pass away. If you have properties that will be inherited by your children, you will need money to pay off inheritance taxes. These are all addressed by insurance.

However, we have to look at what our needs are and not just fall for insurance marketing. We would have to find the right insurance for our needs, at the price that we can afford and which we can maintain. We also have to find an agent who we can trust and is not just after you for the commission that he can earn. That agent will assess your needs and give you recommendations accordingly.

Past Medical History

There is a good reason why you are being asked for your occupation and where you live. You see, different diseases may have the same symptoms. For example, you may find cough, hemoptysis (blood in sputum), shortness of breath, weight loss in either tuberculosis of the lungs or lung cancers like Mesothelioma cancer. If you're from the Philippines, never exposed to asbestos, and lives in a crowded place, there's a greater chance for TB, but if you've worked with asbestos and live in the United States, the initial working diagnosis would be mesothelioma instead. This is important because the management of these diseases are different.

So the next time you were asked about these information, do provide them. This would serve as some of the basis of planning your treatment.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Going Abroad?

Going abroad just to work, sans family, is not as simple as other people think it is. Yes, you do get to earn more. But there are a lot of things sacrificed along the way. That's why it's a decision that must not be taken lightly.

Things that you have to think about when you're considering one of those (like south jersey jobs (or wherever an opening comes up):
  • Housing
  • Cost of living
  • If the job is legitimate
  • Relatives /friends in the area -- this would be your support system, a.k.a. where you could "run" to in times of trouble
  • Language

If you're married:
  • Whether or not to bring your family
  • Childcare
  • Schooling
And that's just the tip of the iceberg. I only thought of these on the fly. I'm sure real overseas workers could give even more things that should be considered.

Good luck!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Is A Package Tour More Practical?

Generally, package tours cost less than a regular trip we put together. This is because the travel agency has bought several things in bulk: the airline tickets, hotel accommodations, the services of a tour guide, transportation services. This is very ideal when you want to travel but want to save some cash, most especially if it would be your first time. For example, Orlando vacation packages would be cheaper than reserving for airline tickets, transportation, hotel, park tickets, meals etc on your own.

However, the downside of travelling with a tour group is that you have to match the pace of the group. It's difficult to savor and enjoy the travel experience if you are always in a hurry.

Personally, I'd go for the tour group for a place that I'd be visiting for the first time. But if I'd been there before, I'd rather map out my own itinerary.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Keep The Balance In Foods

Everybody knows that certain foods are good for us and others are bad for us. We're supposed to eat more veggies, cut back on lean meat, reduce our carbs, fat, salt and sugar intake.

The reality is that we do need everything! Even the fats (good fats like CLA and even a small amount of the "bad" fat like cholesterol), carbohydrates (source of quick energy), salt (we need enough sodium in our diet) and sugar (our brain uses only glucose). It's just that we do not really have a balance of these and end up with a surplus of what are considered to be bad for us and not consume enough of what is good for us!

A simple, but not foolproof guideline will be to reduce everything "bad" but not cut them totally out from your daily life.

SEO Tools

As if I didn't have enough online work to do, I've bought a couple more domains. The problem is that now I have to build up their traffic and reputation. I've been told that there are certain online seo tools that may be utilized to make the task easier. I haven't tried it out but since they offer their services for free I thought it may be worth the effort.

Has anyone of you tried their services? Please send feedback.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Papaya, Pineapple and Others

Something I SHOULD be doing, but I'm not, is having a healthier diet with more fiber, less sugar and less fat...that means more fruits and vegetables and less of the fat and "bad carbs" -- you and I know that, we just don't seem to find the willpower to resist the "good food" that's served to us!

I especially appreciated fiber-and-enzyme rich foods when I was pregnant. While pregnancy was generally a joy, it is also a time when we face certain discomforts like constipation and hemorrhoids. While there are a variety of remedies claiming cure for hemorrhoids, the truth is that you can't really try everything since you are pregnant. This is where such fruits like pineapple and papaya really really help, big time!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Tips for Breastfeeding

I've read of women who have been unsuccessful in breastfeeding, and it just makes me sad. I am a breastfeeding advocate of sorts, although I try not to be as pushy as most BF advocates usually are (although sometimes there really is a certain need for pushyness).

My advise for women to have a more successful nursing experience.
  • Have the first latch as soon as possible after birth!
  • Nurse, nurse, nurse! Direct feeding is still the best way to stimulate milk production
  • Get enough nutrition. Malunggay is considered a galatogogue. It's popular and plentiful here and is chock full of nutrients for the nursing mom. It can be incorporated into tinolang manok for a nutritious soup, or it can be taken in capsule form. Also try to look for women's vitamin supplements for your purposes.
  • Be persistent. You may hear people saying that "your milk is not enough, your baby's still crying, you probably don't produce enough" or similar things but stick to your guns and breastfeed. As long as your baby is within the curve and gaining weight nicely, has good urine and stool output, and is generally healthy, he/she should be fine. Also, through all the pain and engorged breasts that usually happens at the start, always remember that these are only temporary.
  • Get support..wherever you can! From husband, family, friends, or even a support group. Get a breastfeeding advocate as a pediatrician. The last is a real asset as they are the best person to dispel your doubts about breastfeeding.
  • Sleep with your baby. Co-sleeping really makes it easier to feed the baby. You don't have to get up, and you're aware of your baby when he/she needs you. I actually feel more rested because I don't worry as much, and I do not have to get up at all -- just feed offer my breasts in a side-lying position and we're good to go.
  • Get a good pump. Direct feeding is always best, but a good pump will make it easier to express and store milk for those times when you have to leave the baby. Especially if you're a working mom.
  • Enjoy your moment. It will hurt at the start, but it becomes easier and more enjoyable as you go along. Your nursing relationship does not last long, so do enjoy it while it lasts!
Good luck!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Trying Acupuncture

It's been over a year since my mom had her motorcycle accident and her partial hip replacement surgery, but she still has episodes of pain on her hip, and her walk is not as good as before. For a short while, her knees also started started to feel pain, but the knee pain was relieved when she was given glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, which are supposed to be among best joint supplements. Her hip pain is still there though.

Lately, she has turned to acupuncture, an old Chinese technique using needles to alter the flow of "chi". While I am a doctor trained in mainstream Medicine, this technique is something I believe in because it has been proven. I'm hoping that this would ease her pain and make her walk better.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Off The Beaten Path

Many Pinoys only go for the familiar places and familiar foods. The thing is, sometimes it's more fun to go "off the beaten path".

I mean, I TRY to sample the local fare and just save the familiar international fast food places like McDonald's for instances when the local food just doesn't suit my fancy or there is nothing around.

We also try to explore different places. Of course, most Pinoys have been to Los Angeles (with Disneyland being top must-visit) and Las Vegas, but how many Pinoys have been to places like breckenridge or even bigger cities like, say, New Orleans. Not that many, I believe.

My mom and I once went to New Orleans, and it was certainly a different experience, culture wise and food wise. We really enjoyed our trip

So I say, do be a little more adventurous in your vacations and enjoy life just a little bit more!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

What Pinoy Kids Spend On...

Got this from mom.exchange.ph :



It really warms the heart to know that most Pinoy kids are actually more money savvy than we give them credit for!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Towing Services

I'm not very car savvy, but my husband is. And even if he is, there are really times when you still need assistance with roadside repair or with towing. That's why he enrolls our cars with Wheeler's Club. I think this is similar to www.goodsamers.com except that Wheeler's Club is Philippine based while the latter is for car owners in USA, Canada and Mexico.

Anyway, for about 700 pesos a year, you get unlimited towing services for your vehicle and roadside repair assistance. Considering that emergency towing services costs at least 1500 pesos up EACH TIME, this is already a good deal. More importantly, it ensures that you can get help from anywhere in Metro Manila when your car gets into trouble.

About Me

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A part time ophthalmologist, part time micro business owner, part time graduate student and FULL TIME MOM struggling to find balance in the confusing world of multitasking :)