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REVIEW | Skechers Go Run Ride 4 Running Shoes

I recently bought a pair of Skechers running shoes, the Skechers Go Run Ride 4, which was put on sale in a mall somewhere south. I was enth...

Sunday, December 27, 2015

LIST | 5 frugal or tipid tips to celebrate New Year in the Philippines

For most of us, 2015 has been one full, crazy, roller coaster ride! It was pretty tough yet fulfilling, especially for those who are essentially financially savvy and for those having difficulty making ends meet. Typhoons may have battered us. Droughts and flash floods may have put us to the test. Yet, here we are standing strong and fighting.

So, salute to you who's reading this post now! It's really amazing how we managed to survive all our battles and beat all our demons. 

This 365-day story of our lives is about to end, and a new chapter will unfold for us to continue writing our journey. Most of us would want to close the former chapter with a loud bang, from grand fireworks display and festive salubong buffets to noisy torotots, non-stop karaoke birits, and out-of-the-country escapades.

Image Courtesy: Grange-Hotel.co.uk

If you're the type who aims to practice frugality up till this year's end and continue it in the next year, then that's a commendable job especially because you are more responsible and mature when it comes to your finances. While the temptation to spend is there, I'd like to share some tips on how to still end 2015 awesomely.

Here are five (5) frugal ways to celebrate the new year in the Philippines.

1. Attend a reunion or gathering.

Whatever that is -- a family gathering, a high school reunion, or a childhood friends meetup -- you can save a lot if you go to these events, especially when your intent is to see them and catch up. Getting served delectable dishes and cold boozes, while interacting with them, during the last hours of 2015 is a great way to stay true to your principle.

2. Host a potluck party.

Now, if you can't go out due to some circumstance, yet you want to save up on expenses, you may want to invite your family and friends to your place and tell them to bring food as well for everyone. This will surely be a good time to bring your loved ones together at a minimum expense.

3. Dine out in your favorite, cheap spot.

What if you don't have a place to crash on or your place isn't just where you want to be while about to meet the new year? Well, there are local dining areas or restaurants that you can go to. Look for those bars or food spots where there are New Year promos so that you'd get the most bang for the buck!

4. Be one with the crowd.

While there's always danger that comes with going in public places the eve before the New Year, you can not discount the fact that staying in a park is a cheap way to get by with the night, assuming that the weather is good. You may be opt  to be one with the crowd who gather in parks and other recreation areas where entrance is free and light shows are on offer. Who knows, you might just bump into one of your old friends and you'd get the treat of your life, right?

5. Take a trip uphill (or wherever cheap).

The last choice is dependent only if there are hills or mountains in your place. Just trek up and camp out. Bring water and some food, watch the fireworks display (if there are any), and wait there until sunrise. You'll definitely enjoy staying outside your comfort zone for a few hours.

BONUS: Just celebrate it simply and quietly at home.

Probably, the most frugal way to celebrate the coming of 2016 is to sleep it off. Right before you fall asleep, maybe getting into movie marathons and eating some popcorn and pizza together with your loved ones in bed is your style? Nothing beats a great rest in your comfy bed, with some dinner food and beverages on your bed as you watch your favorite movies and series, while everyone's lighting up their fireworks and firecrackers.

Regardless of how you want to celebrate the hours to the New Year, make sure it's what will make you happy and contented. 2016 will surely be one hell of a blast! Let's get it on!

Friday, December 25, 2015

LIST | Schedule of 2015 SM Christmas and New Year Mall Hours

Still not done shopping gifts for your loved ones? Forgot some items in your Holiday noche buena list? Working on what dishes to prepare for your New Year's eve celebration? Still planning on buying some torotot and round fruits as part of your salubong celebration?


Shoppers will definitely be filling SM malls and other malls all over the country to gather with their families and relax from arduous office work. While there are those who plan ahead of time to shop for awesome finds, there are others who want spontaneity and just want to go shop whenever they want to.

So, here is a list of the schedule of SM mall hours from December 25, Christmas Day, to the first few days of January 2016.


METRO MANILA


SM Cubao
December 25: 12 PM to 11 PM
December 26 to 30: 10 AM to 11 PM
December 31: 9 AM to 11 PM
January 1: Closed

SM Mall of Asia
December 25: 10 AM to 11 PM
December 26 to 30: 10 AM to 11 PM
December 31: 9 AM to 8 PM


January 1: 12 PM to 11 PM

SM Megamall
December 25 to 30: 10 AM to 11 PM
December 31: 9 AM to 7 PM
January 1: 12 PM to 11 PM
January 2-3: 10 PM to 11 PM

SM North EDSA
December 25: 10 AM to 11 PM
December 26 to 30: 10 AM to 11 PM
December 31: 9 AM to 7 PM
January 1: 12 PM to 10 PM
January 2: 10 AM to 10 PM
January 3: 10 AM to 3 PM

SM Aura Premier (Taguig)
December 24 and 31: 9 AM to 7 PM
December 25: 12 PM to 10 PM
December 26 to 30: 10 AM to 10 PM
January 1: Department store closed

SM City Sangandaan
December 25: 10 AM to 10 PM
December 26 to 30: 10 AM to 10 PM
December 31: 9 AM to 7 PM
January 1: 12 PM to 9 PM

SM Southmall, Manila, Sta. Mesa, Sucat, Bicutan, San Lazaro, Novaliches, Muntinlupa, Las Pinas, Angono, BF Paranaque
December 25: 10 AM to 10 PM
December 26 to 30: 10 AM to 10 PM
December 31: 9 AM to 7 PM
January 1: 12 PM to 9 PM

SM City Marikina
December 25: 10 AM to 10 PM
December 26 to 30: 10 AM to 10 PM
December 31: 9 AM to 7 PM
January 1: 12 PM to 10 PM

SM City Taytay
December 25: 10 AM to 10 PM
December 26 to 30: 10 AM to 10 PM
December 31: 9 AM to 7 PM
January 1: 12 PM to 9 PM

SM City Masinag
December 25: 10 AM to 10 PM
December 26 to 30: 10 AM to 10 PM
December 31: 9 AM to 7 PM
January 1: 12 PM to 9 PM

SM Center Pasig
December 25: 12 PM to 11 PM
December 26 to 30: 10 AM to 10 PM
December 31: 9 AM to 7 PM
January 1: 12 PM to 11 PM


NORTH LUZON

SM Pampanga, Marilao, Cauayan, Baguio, Baliwag, Tarlac
December 25: 10 AM to 10 PM
December 26 to 30: 10 AM to 10 PM
December 31: 9 AM to 7 PM
January 1: 12 PM to 9 PM

SM City Cabanatuan
December 25: 10 AM to 10 PM
December 26 to 30: 10 AM to 10 PM
December 31: 9 AM to 7 PM
January 1: 12 PM to 9 PM

SM City Olongapo
December 25: 10 AM to 10 PM
December 26 to 30: 10 AM to 10 PM
December 31: 9 AM to 7 PM
January 1: 12 PM to 9 PM


SOUTH LUZON

SM Sta. Rosa, Rosario, Naga, Dasmarinas, San Pablo, Batangas, Lucena
December 25: 10 AM to 10 PM
December 26 to 30: 10 AM to 10 PM
December 31: 9 AM to 7 PM
January 1: 12 PM to 9 PM

SM City Lipa
December 25: 10 AM to 10 PM
December 26 to 30: 10 AM to 10 PM
December 31: 9 AM to 7 PM
January 1: 12 PM to 9 PM

SM City Calamba
December 25: 10 AM to 10 PM
December 26 to 30: 10 AM to 10 PM
December 31: 9 AM to 7 PM
January 1: 12 PM to 9 PM


VISAYAS

SM City Bacolod, SM Seaside City Cebu, SM City Cebu, Iloilo, Consolacion
December 25: 10 AM to 10 PM
December 26 to 30: 10 AM to 10 PM
December 31: 9 AM to 7 PM
January 1: 12 PM to 9 PM

SM City Cabanatuan
December 25-30: 10 AM to 9 PM
December 31: 9 AM to 7 PM
January 1: 11 AM to 9 PM


MINDANAO

SM City Davao, General Santos (GenSan), Cagayan de Oro
December 25: 10 AM to 10 PM
December 26 to 30: 10 AM to 10 PM
December 31: 9 AM to 7 PM
January 1: 12 PM to 9 PM

Saturday, December 19, 2015

LIST | 6 most expensive basic necessities in the world

In order for humans to live, the basic necessities of living must be met. These include water, shelter, food, clothing, and air. Communication has also been vital to human survival. Hence, its inclusion in this article is not to be discounted. While several people are still unable to afford these needs especially in the poor areas of Africa and Asia, some wealthy individuals all over the world, who have so much money it has become a problem what to do with it, are spending thousands to millions just to satisfy their elevated needs. 

If you won $100 million in the lottery, what would you do with it? Would you splurge it on your dream hobbies and interests? Would you spend it thriftily to grow it more? Or would you crave for higher standards of living, which most people in the world do not achieve?

This post gives you the six (6) most expensive basic needs ever bought by money. 

The Most Expensive Water

Image Source: Lussuosissimo

Let’s start with water. Clear, potable water should be accessible to everyone, but that’s not yet the case. Droughts and geographic disadvantages have led to some water shortages in the world, mostly in Africa. Due to these shortages, some companies have flourished out of the need to give water access to the world’s most water-deprived people --- and that is, in bottles. Meanwhile, a few highly affluent people take a sip of the world’s most expensive bottled water goes to Acqua di Cristallo Tributo a Modigliani which has auctioned for a staggering $60,000 per 750 mL through a global warming-inclined foundation. With each bottle made up of 24-karat gold and designed by late Italian artist Amedeo Clemente Modigliani, it is the water for the most classy and luxurious. For what it’s worth, every drop definitely makes you regret why you just let it down the drain


The Most Expensive Clothing

Image Source: StitchebyB

In 2011, a study published in Molecular Biology and Evolution has revealed that humans began to wear clothing 170,000 years ago. That’s a long, long time ago! It just proves how extremely significant clothing is to us and our ancestors. Note that the modern form of humans only evolved around 200,000 years ago, so that’s around 30,000 years of being naked before finally realizing the need to clothe thyself! 

Nowadays, clothing is not just a necessity, but a luxury with large fashion houses introducing pricey collections to the patronizing public. Other pieces of clothing worn by popular celebrities make it to the auction house and the responses of the bidders are just insane. The most crazily priced piece of clothing? It goes to Marilyn Monroe’s “Happy Birthday Mister President” dress which fetched a record $1,267,500 dollars! That’s more than 57 million Php for a secondhand dress!

The sultry dress was worn by the blonde international icon as she gave a “Happy Birthday” serenade to resident President John F. Kennedy on May 19, 1962. The flesh-colored million-dollar dress hugged the curves and stood out with jewels encrusted tightly and sheer. It was purchased in 199 by Manhattan-based collector Gotta Have It! When it was auctioned by the widow of Lee Strasberg, Monroe’s acting coach. 


The Most Expensive Food

Image Source: OddityCentral

Who doesn’t love good food? Everyone, given that you have lots of money in your purse, would undoubtedly go on a food trip with friends to try the best tasting dishes in your locale. But while there are limits as to how much you would, without regret, shell out for good fine dining experience, the ultra-rich wouldn’t mind giving a thousand bucks for the most delectable, expensive food in the world.

There are so many cuisines in the world with a myriad of dishes to choose from, but what most likely stands for status and luxury would be caviar. Those who are able to munch on caviar somehow feel they have a lot of say in society. They’re a cut above the rest. And the most expensive food award goes to the Albino “White Gold” caviar which is derived from the white roe (or eggs) of the albino beluga, which can be found in Caspian sea but is on the road to extinction. Laced with 22-karat gold, the albino caviar or Strottarga Bianco costs $300,000 per kilo or $40,000 per teaspoon! Imagine your 1.8-million-peso sports car simply going down the toilet in just a few seconds! What a waste.


The Most Expensive Communication Tool

Image Source: FirstPost

With the world becoming globally interconnected, it’s a no-brainer that smartphones are here to stay forever until advances in telepathy takes place. Smartphones have that one main functionality which is extremely needed by anyone in the world, and that is to communicate. People want to be in touch with one another. And the breakthroughs in communications technology have broken down barriers and simply linked families separated by distances.

Though most consumers just want that smartphone which gives them the essentials for talking, texting, and entertaining, a select few have managed to seek for everything better from appearance to use. Introducing, the world’s most expensive smartphone ---the iPhone 5 Black Diamond---which one can buy for a titanic $15.3 million! That’s more than half a billion pesos encased into one thief-attracting phone!

But wait, what’s so expensive in this phone? Wait for it! Just take a deep breath and relax. The iPhone 5 Black Diamond apparently has a rare 26-karat black diamond embellished on it which replaces the home button of the phone. Designed by luxury British designer Stuart Hughes for a Hong Kong-based businessman, the iPhone was made of 135 grams of 24-karat gold and was bombarded with 600 white diamonds. Not just one, but 600 pricey gems, 53 of which dotting the Apple logo at the back! The rest of the diamonds inlay the chassis of the iPhone 4. And it’s more than just a robber-friendly smartphone; it’s a piece of everything jewel lovers would want to have. Its package is placed with rare stones such as Opal, Charoite, and Pietersite. Also, don’t forget the polished piece of T-Rex bone that comes with it! Just the dream smartphone anyone would just want to hide in an extra-guarded and well-programmed safe.


The Most Expensive Shelter

Image Source: ScoopWhoop

Everybody dreams of having a house they can call their own, their area of relaxation, their piece of serenity, their refuge. Let’s read no further as the world’s most expensive house took a whopping $1 billion dollars to make!

The Antilia, located in Mumbai, India, is owned by Indian business magnate Mukesh Ambani. Named after a mythical island in the Atlantic Ocean, the Anntilia has 27 stories (yet with double-height ceilings takes the height of a 40-storey building) and 400,000 sq. ft. in area. It boasts of six underground levels of parking space fit for 168 cars, 9 elevators, three helipads, a ‘health’ level, a spa, some terraced gardens, a temple, a ballroom, a theater, and some guest suites. And it takes 600 people to overlook this extravagant home!


The Most Expensive Air

Image Source: CNN

We’ve got all the most expensive basic things we need in life covered, but one - air. Believe it or not, air which is ubiquitous and is supposedly freely breathable has been given a price tag somewhere in Asia. But the price speaks so much as it is about its quality. So what is the reason? Smog. China has been tackling its severe smog problem. And a Canadian startup Vitality Air has come up with a solution. It’s selling bottled clean air collected from the Rocky Mountains in the town of Banff. Priced from $14 to $20, depending on the size, 500 canisters of it have already been sold. Orders for shipment of 1,000 bottles are now ongoing. Environmental destruction definitely has a price.


Friday, December 18, 2015

INSPIRE | 10 Filipino entrepreneur success stories (Part 2 of 2)

About a month ago, I shared with you five (5) entrepreneurs whose "babies" have become a huge success, thanks to their hard work and perseverance. They were the ones who strove hard to become the best drivers of their teams and their businesses. Today, I am continuing from where I left. This post details part two of the article 10 Filipino entrepeneur success stories known online.

6. April Margaret Cuenca - FlipTrip

Photo Courtesy: April Cuenca

"It’s more fun in the Philippines!" 

This campaign is absolutely evident in the life of this young tourist and entrepreneur who has been to at least 51 of the 81 provinces of the Philippines. Along with this achievement at the age of 24, she's the youngest woman to ever complete all within this year 2015. Just how did she manage to be the CEO of Fliptrip, a successful travel agency, at a young age?

All this girl wanted when she was 12 was to change the world. Yes, it's a huge thing for a kid to be dreaming and fulfilling it easily. She had an open discussion with her sisters, while they were watching the former Senator Dick Gordon speak about the power of tourism. She wondered about how she could help the tragic victims of the typhoon. Being moved by his speech, this kindled her choice to utilize the power of tourism for the evolution of the country.

Driven as the passionate April that she is, she became the top football player in the whole Philippine high school division, even playing for the UP Football Team but unfortunately, she gained numerous knee ligament injuries when she was almost close to graduating in senior year. As a result, her scholarship which was the only source of her tuition fee was taken away leading to her personally dropping school. Despite her financial debacle, she was eager to understand tourism better.

Not letting her experience down her, she worked as a tour guide and as a logistics manager for a travel show. She loved what she did and traveled for an entire year, while having fun discovering the the uniqueness of every place she visits. Because of this job, she was able to visit more than 51 provinces because of this.

“The hardest part is when the excitement dies down. This is why passion is the difference between those who try and those who succeed.” At first, it was exciting for her to travel places, but as it became a normal routine, the normal excitement you feel when you receive the same gift over and over dies down, but her passion in traveling and changing the world through tourism did influence her innovation in FlipTrip.


7. Natividad Yabut-Cheng - Uratex

Photo Courtesy: BizNewsAsia (January 2014 Issue)

Natividad Cheng used to sleep at the hard cold floor covered with only one thin banig (mat) together with four families living in a small house. They actually looked like sardines sleeping clumped up together. Forced to work in a factory, she met her faithful husband Robert. With only more or less P4,000, and out of exhaustion from their low-paying jobs, they started their own business of bedding supplies called Polyfoam Chemical Corp.

Enforcing thriftiness and simplicity, they were able to save P200,000, enough to purchase a German-made machinery for their business. With this, the business continued to expand through the years. However, luck at this moment wasn't on their side. A huge fire hit the company warehouse and brought damages amounting to about P2 million of materials and equipment, which at that time was big a loss for a company. 

“Parang bumagsak ang langit sa amin pero malakas naman ang fighting spirit namin na kailangan namin bumangon,” (It's like the sky fell down on us but our fighting spirit was strong that we need to get up.) Cheng said, in an interview in ABS-CBNs My Puhunan TV show.

To restore all the lost earnings, they took a loan and worked harder to rise and get back on their feet again. While still recovering from their loss, another unfortunate event happened. Cheng's husband passed away. This brought doubts as to who would succeed the management of the company, now that he's gone. Being the tough woman she is, she continued the business with the vision of her husband and the foundation's existence in focus.

If you were in that case, you would've given up especially if your strength and partner for life suddenly leaves, but Ma'am Natividad continued to persevere and stayed strong just like when he was still there. She rode the waves of life and faced the challenges with her head held high. Now, her products have now been a great inspiration to Filipinos around the world.


8. Josh Mahinay - BAG943

Photo Courtesy: Josh Mahinay

Most successful individuals were pushed to their limits by poverty, among other factors. Some fail, while others continue to aim for the stars. Josh Mahinay is just one of these amazing and inspirational beings who managed to rid himself of his poverty.

Growing up in a remote barangay in the province of Zamboanga and being the youngest out of his nine siblings, he was witness to the difficulty of being born poor.

His parent's livelihood was mining which caused them to move from one place to another and live with families who weren't related to them. Just to go to school, he walked distances of 10 kilometers per day along the hard-curved mountains. His slippers was getting torn often and all of his school supplies would fall out, forcing him to use the classical red and white plastic bag. He sometimes felt embarrassed and awkward because his classmates would often look at him with laughter or with pitiful eyes. 

Receiving his very first usable bag from a distant relative in fourth grade made him really happy even if it was just passed on to him. Still, it made him realize that someone actually cared for him. As a result, he felt inspired and did better in school to get out of poverty as a way of thanks for all the blessings he received from God no matter how small it were.

"Because someone believed in me, I started believing in myself. Having a school bag like my classmates gave me the confidence to dream the kind of dreams that they have, or maybe bigger." said Josh Mahinay in Republika ng Filinvestor.

Years have passed and now, he's worked for five years in United States. While on a vacation in Mindanao, he met a kid walking to school and carrying a plastic bag along the rice paddy dike. His emotional instincts sparked when he reminisced his life as the kid looked at him. He remembered the way he walked long ragged roads just to get to school. He remembered how he awkwardly held the plastic bag with his school supplies just to utilize what he only had. Everything started playing like a video of his life was flashed before his eyes.

That single emotional moment made him decide to go back home in 2012 to start a business for helping children with their education. This led him create the BAG943 which sells bags with the tagline of "Buy One Give One" thru the Bag of Dreams Project. The premise is that, a bag will be donated to an unfortunate child for every bag that is purchased. With this, the children will have hope because they would feel they are not left behind.


Josh Mahinay with the Yellow Boat Foundation.
 Photo Courtesy: The Philippine Star



9. Rebecca Bustamante

Photo Courtesy: Chalre.com

She made it! Everyone can dream! And this is a story of a dreamer.

Mired in poverty and the seventh out of eleven, Rebecca Bustamante Bustamante had to work as a maid in exchange for food and tuition fee. Leaving Dasol, Pangasinan, she decided to work in a factory in Bataan where her aunt promised to send her to high school because her mother was diagnosed with cancer. Her determination to rise from poverty boosted despite being discriminated whenever they couldn’t afford her mother’s hospital bills and other fees that were needed to be paid. Unfortunately, her mother passed away. It was too late.

Having turned 19, she left for Singapore as a domestic helper. She had an exhausting work as a nanny, sleeping always late and only had a one day-off each month. Working and grabbing the opportunity to study without telling her employer, a Singaporean professor volunteered to support her. She studied accounting.

“I was so determined to improve myself to be able to help my brothers and sisters because I promise my mom to give the education and the life my brothers and sisters deserved,” she said from an interview in Inquirer. Despite having a tightly packed schedule, her focus to earn money and let her siblings in the Philippines finish school never faded.

Having migrated to Canada after having earned throughout her college years in Singapore, she worked as a nanny while continuing her degree Accountancy at an another prestigious university. Despite being criticized by her friends because of the way she lived her life, she continued to fulfill her promise to her mother when she was alive that she would support her family.

Time went by until she reached 27, when she thought about marriage. At that time, all of her siblings have already finished college. She was nervous because she had no experience. She even read dating and relationship books. One fateful day arrived. A friend set her up to a businessman named Richard Mills. After spending a few weeks of dating and despite lying about her background, Richard wanted to introduce her to his family. He was serious with her.

“I said, 'Oh my gosh, I have to tell him the truth! That's when I said who I am, my background and why I did not give him my real story. And he said, ‘I'm still really interested to meet you’...so that's when the relationship blossomed,” Rebecca Bustamante confessed.

Eventually, she introduced Mills to her family and she got married at 31. Now, they're raising two sons named Alex and Chris. After settling in the Philippines and doing numerous shift of business, she and her husband founded their own company named Chalré in 2005. Chalré has now successful investments around the world.

Bustamante, Mills and their children Alex and Chris. 
Photo Courtesy: Richard Mills


10. Sandy Javier

Photo Courtesy: ABS-CBN News

All of us make mistakes at some point in time which could destroy us completely. Sandy Javier has experienced had one of them. Despite his failure, he managed to reshape his new found path and walk the road even though it seemed late.

Sandy Javier was the smartest out of all his siblings and was even a scholar until he drifted to the wrong path in college. He prioritized other unnecessary things like having girlfriends during his stay in Ateneo de Manila University up to the moment he graduated. When he turned 30, his siblings were already creating a mark and defining their own lives, while he turned out to be the low achievers despite being the brightest in the family.

Having no achievement reached, he went away and tried to find himself. He traveled to Japan with a $500 allowance. All of his money got lost because he checked in an expensive hotel. This made him realize how hard money has to be earned.

He accepted odd jobs and became the country's first Japayuki (foreign "entertainer" in Japan). There was one time when he sang for a Yakuza (crime syndicates originating in Japan) and was slapped after. Having felt violated, he wanted to fight back but he found out that that was how Yakuza's show hat they're pleased. They slap you and shove money in your pocket if they're entertained. He earned 20,000 yen and soon after, he became used to it just to earn money.

After his stay in Japan, he went to Germany as a TNT (Filipino slang Tago ng Tago pointing to "illegal immigrants"). An American sheltered him out of pity. When he went back to the Philippines, an unfortunate event took place.

"When I came back, my father was dying. I did not recognize my father; he was so thin. It was then that I promised him: Kapag umasenso ako (If I get better), I will name my business after you and your name will be known all over the world." he stated.

His dad gave him a warm smile despite his shortcomings. That meant a lot to him. He knew his father loved him with all he had in spite of his mistakes. Inspired by his father, he went to Manila to continue searching for himself. He stumbled upon a lechon manok place in Pampanga and didn't like the way it was cooked. With this, an idea to start a similar kind of business poped in.

Just like what other businessmen feel, his first business was a failure. He only sold two out of 12 chickens which forced him and his family to eat different chicken dishes out of it until it got consumed. Trying again, he moved to a better place near an outlet that was selling lots of chickens per day with people lining up at their doors. He believed that the impatient starving customers would go to him instead. However, it still didn't click. Some customers didn't want his chicken.

Lots of failures followed. Honest customers said that the way the chicken was prepared wasn't good, so he came up with a new recipe. It still didn't sell. Customers just passed by his stall like it was invisible. He then advertised by putting up a fancy lit sign to attract customers. He explained, "Eh, kung lumampas rin, hindi ko na hahabulin 'yon. Bulag sigurado 'yon." (If he just passed by, I wouldn’t chase him. He’s probably blind.).

Despite all the failures he experienced, he kept working harder and harder until Andok's became so famous, it had to branch out.

A chicken out of all Andok’s recipe. 
Photo Courtesy: Andok’s website.

These are the stories of Filipino success in the world of busines.

Most of these entrepreneurs had the qualities of hard work, determination, patience, and most importantly, grit. Being born in an unfair world where poverty is sometimes a work of chance, there are a lot of people who have made something out of nothingness just to achieve what their hearts desire. Don't let failure and your current situation deter you from reaching your target destination.

LIST | Manny Pacquiao, Kris Aquino among 2014 top taxpayers list in the Philippines

Boxing champ Manny Pacquiao and local celebrity Kris Aquino are included in the list of the Philippines' top 14 taxpayers for taxable year 2014. The list (with values rounded off to the nearest hundred thousands), announced by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), is as follows:

Photo Courtesy: Jewel Samad, AFP/Getty Images
  1. Jacinto L. Ng (Rebisco, AUB) - 280.1M Php
  2. Emmanuel D. Pacquiao - 210.3M Php
  3. Vivia Q. Azcona (Mercury Drug) - 153.6M Php
  4. Jose C. Alvarez (Palawan governor) - 73.0M Php
  5. Jacinto C. Ng Jr. (Oakwood Premier Joy-Nostalg Center Manila) - 66.9M Php
  6. Kristina Bernadette C. Aquino - 54.5M Php
  7. Ronaldo R. Soliman (real estate) - 53.5M Php
  8. William Schultz (Coca-Cola) - 51.3M Php
  9. Ramon S. Ang (San Miguel Corp.) - 51.1M Php
  10. Lauro C. Baja III (UBS Philippines) - 50.7M Php
  11. Eduardo M. Conjuangco Jr. - 50.5M Php
  12. George T. Chua - 49.2M Php
  13. Sharon C. Panginilan - 49.1M Php
  14. Jonathan C. Ng - 45.7M Php
    Leading the list is Rebisco and Asia United Bank (AUB) owner Jacinto Ng who paid 280.1M Php in taxes last year. The country's boxing icon Pacquiao landed as the 2nd top-paying individual in the country with approximately 210.3M Php contributed to the government's coffers. Presidential sister Aquino is on the 6th spot with 54.5M Php paid for the services and projects of the Aquino administration. San Miguel boss Ramon Ang also made it to the list with 51.1M Php taxes paid.

    Wednesday, December 16, 2015

    INSPIRE | He is mad that his boss always ignores him, until he finds out why.

    Are you the type of personality who is quick to judge a person based on just one impression? Are you the person who usually labels a person for what another does or does not? Do you always look at just one side of a coin, and never intend to know what's on the other side of the coin?

    Image Seen From: The Joy Junkie

    A story published on The Daily Headlines depicts the character mentioned above. A man is mad that his boss always ignores him. And it took a while before he actually found the reason why. Read the story below.

    "My boss drove a luxury car everyday and it was my duty to greet him and to open the gates for him, as I worked as a watchman in his villa. But he never responded back to my greetings.

    One day he saw me opening the garbage bags outside the villa in search for any leftover food. But, as usual he never even looked at me, it was like as if he never saw anything!

    The very next day I saw a paper bag at the same place, but it was clean and the food inside was covered well. It was fresh and good food like someone had just brought it from the supermarket. I didn’t bother as to where it came from, I just took the paper bag and I was so happy about it.

    Every day I found this paper bag at the same place with fresh vegetables and all that we needed for home. This became my daily routine. I was eating and sharing this food with my wife and kids. I was wondering who this fool could be?! To forget his paper bag full of fresh food everyday.

    One day there was a big problem in the villa and I was told that my boss has died. There were too many guests coming to the villa that day and I didn’t get any food that day, so I thought that one of the guests must have taken it. But the same thing happened the 2nd day, the 3rd day and the 4th day.

    It went on like this for a few weeks and I found it difficult to provide food for my family, so I decided to ask the wife of my boss for a raise in my salary or else I would quit my job as a watchman.

    After I told her, she was shocked, and asked me, how come you never complained about your salary for the last 2 years? And why is this salary not enough for you now? I gave her so many excuses but she was never convinced!

    Finally in the end, I decided to tell her the truth, I told her the entire story of the bag of groceries, and as to how it was my daily provision. She then asked me as to when this stopped? I told her after the death of her husband. And then I realized that I stopped seeing the paper bag immediately after the death of my boss. Why didn’t I ever think of this before? That it was my boss who was providing this for me? I guess it was because I never thought that a person who never replied to my greetings could ever be this generous!

    His wife started to cry and I told her to please stop crying and that I’m really sorry that I asked for a raise, I didn’t know that it was your husband who was providing me with the meals, I’ll remain as a watchman and be happy to provide my service.

    His wife told me, I’m crying because I’ve finally found the 7th person my husband was giving this bag full of food. I knew my husband was giving 7 people everyday, I had already found the 6 people, and all these days I was searching for the 7th person. And today I found out.

    From that day onwards, I started to receive the bag full of food again, but this time his son was bringing it to my house and giving it to my hand. But whenever I thanked him, he never replied! Just like his dad!

    One day, I told him THANK YOU in a very loud voice! He replied back to me to please not be offended when he doesn’t reply, because he has a hearing problem, just like his dad!”

    Oh! We have been wrong so many times judging others without knowing the true story behind their actions. Be kind and courteous in dealing with others, for everyone is fighting a hard battle. Be careful, not everything is about you. Before you assume, there is this thing called ASKING.

    Don’t just jump to conclusion, because that is truly not an exercise, it may cause you more harm at the end of the day. Many of our problems are caused by how we process what happens around us. Don’t judge a situation you have never been in. Be humble enough to learn. You do not know it all. Lets change the way we feel about ourselves and others.

    There are two sides to a story. Don’t believe everything you hear.

    Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about."

    Tuesday, December 15, 2015

    MUSIC | 10 reasons why you should watch the Boyce Avenue’s concert in the Philippines

    Heads up everyone!

    International acoustic boyband and Youtube sensation Boyce Avenue is back in the Philippines to perform a five-day Philippine tour on February 2016! To be produced by the Ovation Productions, the trio’s concert will be joined by fellow artist Savannah Outen in Araneta Coliseum on February 16. The Manzano brothers (uhm, I don't think they are related to Luis haha), who became popular for uploading amazing covers of hit songs, will then be moving forward with the next leg of their Philippine tour outside Metro Manila, specifically in the following venues: Waterfront Hotel, Cebu on February 18, Limketkai Mall in Cagayan de Oro on February 19, St. La Salle Coliseum in Bacolod on February 20, and University of Baguio on February 22.

    While you’re still deciding whether or not you should buy Boyce Avenue tickets or treat your lover/loved ones to a great night of relaxing, soulful music, allow me to give you enough reasons why you should watch Boyce Avenue’s concert in the country.

    1. It’s THE Boyce Avenue!


    Come on! They are THE THREE AND ONLY Boyce Avenue! They are very much loved by fans all over the world with more than 5 millions subscribers to their Youtube channel. If you’re one big fan of BA, you'd definitely not pass this time. ;)

    2. It’s a rare moment that artists are willing to come much closer to you, rather than you going to them!


    Last Valentines’ Day, they came, they saw, they conquered.

    Here’s the thing. They would not just come to the Philippines to serve Metro Manila residents. They’re reaching out to other fans who are located far from Manila. They value you! Don’t let this opportunity just fly by! If you're just living near the venue, mark your calendars already!

    3. Boyce Avenue concert tickets are a lot less pricier than other foreign acts.


    The prices of tickets for the Araneta Coliseum concert range from 792 Php to 5280 Php. It’s not that bad at all, compared to Ariana Grande’s (2,099 Php minimum, 15,999 Php max), Katy Perry’s, and Taylor Swift’s concert.


    4. You’ll hear beautiful cover songs and renditions.


    Well, this is already expected. And if you’d like to reminisce those A Thousand Years, Lay Me Down, or Here Without You moments, then hesitate no more. The Boyce will back you up!


    5. You got three awesome brothers serenading right in front of you. What more can you expect?

    A photo posted by Boyce Avenue (@danielmanzano) on

    It’s not just one, but three! The brothers, Daniel, Fabian and Alejandro will let you fall head over heels in the concert and get caught by the love bug for days.


    6. And there’s just No Limits!


    It is definitely hoped they’d sing their originals from the No Limits EP, one of which is my favorite - 
    One Life!


    7. They might just talk to themselves about the PH concert through their @BoyAvenue handle!


    The Boyce just love to hilariously talk to themselves in Twitter, and I sure know that you know that! What will they say about Pinoy fans once their concert tour is done? Let’s see!


    8. Watch out for Alejandro’s Grumpy Cat look!


    You’d definitely love to get the chance to observe Alejandro make that grumpy cat look he does in social media, as you ask for a personal autograph.


    9. Them Boyce might just love you back multiple times.

    A photo posted by Boyce Avenue (@boyceavenue) on

    Who wouldn’t love to hear them say “Mahal ko kayo!” at the concert, right? Mind you, just hearing them say “Yes” to you request for a photo will make your heart melt. Prepare your hearts, girls!



    10. You can’t wait to jam with them! And they can’t wait to jam with you!

    A photo posted by Boyce Avenue (@danielmanzano) on

    You can’t just wait for a night full of extra-awesome covers! It’s one mega escape from the stresses of reality when you immerse in the Boyce Avenue!


    BONUS: It’s going to be one memorable event!

    A photo posted by Boyce Avenue (@boyceavenue) on

    If there is one thing that would really convince you, it’s this! Their comeback to the Philippines means they’ve shared great memories here. And the brothers would definitely love to make more with you guys! So, get this chance of a lifetime to relive the days of live music! And enjoy the sound trip!

    Images and Videos Courtesy: Youtube channel Boyce Avenue, Instagram @boyceavenue, @danielmanzano, @alejandromanzano

    LOOK | The real face of Jesus Christ? How Jesus looks like during his era.


    Retired medical artist Richard Neave has recreated the face of Jesus (pictured), using forensic techniques. The portrait shows the Son of God with a wide face, hazel eyes, a bushy beard and short curly hair, as well as a tanned complexion. This is in contrast to the typical blonde and blue-eyed images seen in the West

    Yup. What you're seeing above might just be the actual/real face of Jesus Christ, the central figure of Christianity.

    By studying thee (3) Semite skulls found in Israel using up-to-date forensic technology and information from the bible, a retired medical artist named Dr. Richard Neave has reconstructed what the actual face of Jesus would have been in his time. And it seems that it's so different from the face that you see in the cross and in other religious images --- Caucasian with long, brown/blonde hair and blue eyes.

    The Son of God possibly has a wide face, dark eyes, a bushy beard, short curly hair, and a tanned complexion. Here's a side view of how Jesus Christ looks like.

    Dr Neave, formerly from the University of Manchester, used techniques typically used to solve crimes, to create the portrait as well as fragments of information, such as a Biblical account saying Jesus closely resembled his disciples. A side view of 'Jesus' is shown

    Dr. Neave's team hypothesized that Jesus would have shared facial features typical of Galilean Semites of his time, as described by events in the Garden of Gethsemane from the New Testament in the Gospel of Matthew. Jesus would have closely resembled his disciples. 

    Some experts believe that Dr. Neave's depiction is likely far more accurate than those in paintings of great artists. 

    What is your say on this?

    Images Courtesy: BBC/Red Vision, Dr. Richard Neave

    Monday, December 14, 2015

    HEALTH | What are the blood types? Why is it important to know about your blood type?

    Accidents happen all the time. And for what it's worth, it is definitely essential to get to know about your and your loved ones' blood types. Pero, what are the blood types? And why is it important to know about your blood type?

    Image Courtesy: Interactive-Biology.com

    In general, there are four (4) blood type: A, B, AB, and O. There are two components to consider when talking about blood transfusion. First is antigen, and second is antibody.

    Kung iisipin natin, parang ang A antigens are the keys (susi), and anti-B antibodies are the doorknobs with matching "machine gun" to kill any foreign object. Kapag ikaw ay may type A blood, nakabantay ang anti-B antibodies mo against B antigens (na matatagpuan malamang sa type B blood at pati na din sa type O blood). Ibig sabihin hindi ka pwedeng tumanggap ng type B blood kasi it contains B antigens na sisirain lang ng anti-B antibodies ng dugo mo.

    What will happen if the anti-B antibodies attack the B antigens in the blood that you received? The B antigens (bilang ikaw ay type A na pasyente na tumatanggap ng type B blood) will be attacked (via "machine gun" bratatatat hehe as mentioned above) and destroyed by your B-antibodies, may clog your blood vessels, and eventually cause blood clot (o barado sa ugat). Yung condition dito ay acute hemolytic transfusion reaction.

    Okay, so here are some of the basic rules:

    1. A person with A antigens in their blood is said to have type A blood. Type A patients have anti-B antibodies. So, they can only receive type A and type O blood (check number 4 below).


    2. A person with B antigens in their blood is said to have type A blood. Type B patients have anti-A antibodies. So, they can only receive type B and type O blood (check number 4 below).

    3. A person with A and B antigens (yup, both) in their blood is said to have type AB blood. Type AB patients have no antibodies kaya pwede silang tumanggap ng type A, type B, type AB, or type O blood. This is why they are called universal recipients.

    4. A person with no antigens in their blood is said to have type O blood. Type O patients have A- and B-antibodies, kaya hindi sila pwedeng tumanggap ng blood other than type O. Pero if you will notice, from 1 to 4, people with type O blood can give to any of them. This is why people with type O blood are called universal donors. Sila yung dakilang pwedeng magbigay.

    These are the four (4) basic types of blood. Pero, may specific pa na classification sa kanila. And the specificity of the blood type all depends on the Rh factor, another antigen found in blood cells na ipinangalan sa Rhesus monkeys. Yung pag-assign ng whether or not merong Rh factor sa dugo mo is either (+) or (-). And it is important kasi pwedeng atakihin ang dugo mo kung ibang Rh factor ang meron ka.

    Donors with Rh (-) antigens can give to either patients with Rh (-) or patients with Rh (+) antigens, while those with Rh (+) antigens can ONLY give to patients with Rh (+) as well.


    So, to apply what was learned (refer to the table above), we will compile everything up. Ang pinaka-universal donor talaga ay yung mga type O (-) patients. Compatible ang dugo ni O (-) sa lahat ng blood types. Si type AB (+) naman ang pinaka-konti ang pwedeng mabigyan; in short, kahit gaano man ka-deep yung intensyon niya na magbigay, hindi talaga pwede. Luckily, may tinatawag na blood swap/exchange sa blood banks hehe. Ang mga may AB (+) ay pwede lang talagang magbigay sa kapwa AB (+).

    Ang pinaka-universal recipient naman ay si AB (+) kasi kaya niya tumanggap ng dugo mula kahit na sinong walang sakit. Now, if hindi mo pa din naintindihan, do watch the video below.

    Image and Video Courtesy: Youtube channel Thoughty2

    In case you still don't get why you need to know what your blood type is, the real reason why you should know about your blood type is so that you'd be aware of what blood type you need. Oo, may mga high-tech gadgets na ginagamit to detect your blood type at an instant. Pero sa mga probinsya at malalayong lugar, bihira ang ganyan, kaya importante din na alam mo kung ano talaga blood type mo. Kasi kung mali ang blood type mo, mali din ang dugo na maitratransfuse sa iyo. And you wouldn't want that case. Promise.

    ALERT | Typhoon Nona Updates: #WalangPasok Class Suspensions, Signal Numbers


    As of 10 PM, December 14, Nona was spotted 325 kilometers east of Catarman, Northern Samar, moving westwards at 19 kph. It had maximum sustained winds of 150 kph and gusts of up to 185 kph. Estimated rainfall amount within the typhoon's 300 km diameter was from moderate to heavy.

    Here are the places/areas where public storm warning signals have been raised.

    Signal Number 3:

    Catanduanes,
    Sorsogon,
    Albay,
    Ticao Island, 
    Northern Samar,
    Eastern Samar,
    Samar

    Signal Number 2:


    Masbate including Burias Island,
    Camarines Sur,
    Camarines Norte,
    Marinduque,
    Romblon,
    southern Quezon,
    Leyte,
    Biliran

    Signal Number 1:


    Oriental Mindoro,
    Batangas,
    Laguna,
    the rest of Quezon, 
    Southern Leyte,
    northern Cebu including the Bantayan and Camotes Islands,
    Aklan,
    Capiz,
    northern Negros Occidental,
    Dinagat province,
    Siargao Island.


    Classes have also been suspended in the following areas:

    REGION IV-A (CALABARZON)

    Lucena City, Quezon - preschool and elementary


    REGION V (BICOL REGION)


    Albay - all levels
    Camarines Sur - all levels
    Camarines Norte - pre-school to high school
    Naga City - all levels
    Masbate City, Masbate - preschool to high school


    REGION VII (CENTRAL VISAYAS)


    Bogo City, Cebu - elementary to high school
    Medellin, Cebu - elementary to high school


    REGION VIII (EASTERN VISAYAS)


    Northern Samar - all levels
    Naval - pre-school, elementary and secondary
    Biliran - pre-school, elementary
    Kawayan - pre-school, elementary
    Culaba - pre-school, elementary
    Cabucgayan - pre-school, elementary
    Caibiran - pre-school
    Cathedral School of La Naval (CSN) - all levels

    Sources: PAGASA, GMA News, CNN Philippines

    Sunday, December 13, 2015

    LIST | 5 reasons why you should start prepping

    What would it take for you to realize that anytime of the day, you might end up gasping for your last breath? There are just so many reasons to let anyone make that move – start prepping. And in this post, I will try to convince you and push you to do it now.

    And what I mean by "it" here are equally significant things like confiding your feelings to a beloved one, reaching for your goals, ending the laziness, moving mountains, etc. You know what i mean. There are just lots of things going on right now that sometimes we fail to realize how important it is to give out our best in every day of our lives. Here are five (5) of the most compelling reasons to enable you to JUST DO IT. Make the most out of your day. Start prepping for anything.

    Reason #1: Cyberwarfare and Terrorism

    Explosion in Kobani
    Image Courtesy: Getty Images

    The spread of terrorism across the globe, add to that the fact that the presence of ISIS, other Islamic and non-Islamic radicals, and violent people, is evident nowadays. You may have seen the recent terror attacks in France (Paris), Lebanon, Mali, Nigeria, among others. Some people are now becoming more and more determined to take away innocent lives for passion and dedication.

    And if it’s not the loss of lives, it is financial trouble as sophisticated fraudulent black hats can easily steal anything vital to your identity and make you bankrupt.

    Reason #2: Economic Uncertainty

    Image Courtesy: ShutterStock | CNN

    Speaking about bankruptcy, even big business entities become attacked. But all these is because some white hats are fighting these greedy corporations owned by the top 1% to play robin hood for the 99%. Other sinister hackers just love to bring trouble to governments as well who hide their dirty laundry in their closets. Unless money is given less priority, everyone will benefit greatly without marginalizing others who then aspire for change and try to destabilize societies.

    Reason #3: Severe Natural Disasters

    Video Courtesy: Joseph Friedman

    You’ve seen typhoon Haiyan, hurricane Katrina, and the destructive earthquakes of Nepal. You’ve heard of severe droughts in California and the killer flashfloods in south Asia. You’ve watched footages of large forest fires in Indonesia whose haze brought inconvenience to neighboring countries. You’re just about to see more in the future. Doesn’t this worry you?

    Reason #4: Epidemics and Health Concerns


    Image Courtesy: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

    The Ebola epidemic in Africa, the influenza and bird flu attacks, and revelations of growing resistance against super effective antibiotics are quite something to ponder on. You just need to think that bacteria and viruses evolve through time.


    Reason #5: Society Breakdown and Change


    Image Courtesy: NJPsychDoc Wordpress | Boundaries of the Soul

    And with all these things happening, unless you’re prepared enough, you are saved from the stresses that lead people to panic and make wrong decisions which thereby lead to chaos and societal breakdown. Someone once said that change is the only permanent thing in the world. If you keep it in mind, you are always given the option to adjust or get left behind.

    Despite all the necessary actions done by world governments, it’s inevitable that unexpected and unpleasant events will happen. There’s nothing wrong with preparing for something that might or might not come. Take a look at it. It’s better than ending up helpless when the worst of chances hit back on you. If there is one thing we can all learn from billions of leaflets, scratches, and pages of human history, it’s that violence continues to be a significant part of the balance in the world.

    It helps to be a bit anxious sometimes or at least to consider all future possibilities. The governments are exerting a lot. Now, it’s your turn. Prep up! Or at least, be aware of what's happening around you. And always hope for the better. Be positive, yet be vigilant.

    Friday, December 11, 2015

    INSPIRE | This short Filipino clip will move you to tears.


    Video Courtesy: Youtube channel ChiqChat

    Behind every gift that you receive in life from a loved one, there is a story - of hard work, of pain, of humility, of sacrifice, of laughter, of fulfillment.

    Sometimes we take for granted the people who cherish us, who give us all we want, who nurtures us to bring out the best in us. This Christmas month, siguro a short "I love you" will ease all those aches and sufferings, and a simple smile will let them know how happy you are for having them.

    Whatever economic state you are in right now, be it in a wealthy, well-off background or in a sea of debt and financial  instability, take the opportunity to thank those who make you feel that you matter. Thank them for changing you.