November 12, 2013

Yolanda and Ondoy

After seeing the devastation brought by Typhoon Yolanda in various provinces in the country, particularly in Leyte, I remembered our own experience with the massive flooding brought by Ondoy in 2009.  But unlike then, after the flooding, we still had our homes, albeit in not very good condition, but we have food and water and electricity, and help was within our reach.  For our kababayans in Leyte, they have no more homes to go back too, and they have lost loved ones.  I told my kids to imagine how they felt after Ondoy, and then multiply that a hundred times, then they can imagine how helpless these people feel.

My kids brought canned goods, old clothes, towel and blankets for their school's relief drive today.  I just wish and pray that the the little that we can give to the victims will help them re-build their lives.

October 25, 2013

I Really Really Want Our Own Home

There are problems and then there are problems.  And in times like these, I really wish we are in our own home where we can do what we want without having to look over our shoulders! Nakakapagod na din makisama or hindi makisama sa kapitbahay! Hayyy. 

September 17, 2013

Lessor Lessons

Our house is now being leased by a family of 6.  I haven't met them, as it was my husband who went there to meet them and get our stuff, have them sign the lease contract.  He also sold some of our stuff to them.  And now, we are lessors.  And I think this early, I already have reservations. I want people to do as they promise, no more and no less.  If they promise to pay us for the remainder of the stuff that they bought on this date, I will hold them to that promise.  I hate it when I have to follow-up and chase.  Good thing its my husband who is talking to them because he has restraints, and I don't.  Anyway, I just hope that they pay their rent on time.  Otherwise, I would have to let them go!

September 4, 2013

Dream House No More

My dream house is no more.  At least for the meantime.  It is now being rented by a new family, and I hope that they will take care of the house, until after we have the money to build our second floor and make it our dream house once more.  I am sad because despite the income that it will generate, somebody else will get to live in MY house. Irrational, I know, but I cant help feeling that way. Oh well.  Such is life.

August 6, 2013

For My Future

I can't help but smile when I saw this at home. This is my eldest son's alkansya, and no, it really is not for his future.  Rather, it is for his future Ukelele. But I like his idea of having this to motivate himself to save.  Part of his allowance immediately goes to this fund, and we also help out by giving him some money. I just wish he will be able to keep this up and buy his Ukelele soon!

July 10, 2013

Pag-Ibig Fund's Full Risk-Based Pricing Model

Last month, I processed my application for Pag-Ibig Fund's Full Risk-Based Pricing Model. For the next three years, my interest rate will be reduced from the current 9% to 7.895%.  In peso terms, that's a deduction of almost P500 per month.  Not bad actually.  The 7.895% interest rate will be repriced automatically after 3 years and it may go up or down, depending on the prevailing market rate.  However, we hope to be able to pay this housing loan by next year so we are not really that concerned.

In other news, my husband went yesterday to our home and posted a For Rent sign. Yep, I have finally given in and will now accept that I wont be able to live here.  The plan is to pay the current home loan by next year, and apply for a new one, and then move in two years.  By then, my eldest will be in college, the middle child will be starting his high school, and the youngest in Grade 5.  Oh well let us see how this fares as plans go.

May 31, 2013

Batangas Houses

Two weeks ago, we went to Sta. Rota in Batangas on the invitation of our friend Karen.  It was their fiesta, and despite it being a week day, we took a leave from work to visit her.  She was leaving for work abroad in a few days, so it was also sort of a reunion. Aside from the warm hospitality of our hosts and the delicious food, I had a great time admiring the houses that we visited.

We went to a total of 5 house, and I was really impressed and awed at the houses that we saw, and these are just two of them.  The first one is Karen's home and the next one below is that of her cousin.
I just love the clean interiors of the house, the bright and homey colors and the furniture that blend well and accentuate their homes.  I really fell in love with these Batangas houses!

April 18, 2013

Garage Sale!

Last April 9, we decided to do a major cleaning to ready the house for the rainy season. I wanted to make sure that everything will be elevated if and when we are flooded again.  Since we bought a new TV, we asked a carpenter to mount it on the wall, and the computer was mounted too. So I had to take out the wall displays below.  And  now they are being sold on our street, we are doing a garage sale!
The kid's old toys are also on sale,, as well as my husband's shoes.  They are new, and just got messed up while in storage.  There was also an old guitar that was snapped up very quickly because we sold it for only P100. The kids below are looking at toys they can buy for P1 each.
Here are just some of the items that we are selling on the street.  The toys on boxes are sold at P10-P20.
This coming weekend, we will also sell the old TV stand.  Hope we get some money out of this as I want to have a hanging shoe cabinet built over the weekend.  If they don't get sold, we will give them away for free instead of putting them in the trash. At least, somebody might have a use for them.

April 11, 2013

Campaigns and More Campaigns: The Superman Logo

The official campaign season for the local elections have begun so it is not unusual to hear silly and ear piercing jingles all over the place.  And while we are at it, here is a campaign banner that caught my attention as it was using Superman's logo. This is for Bong Suntay who is running as councilor in our district. I just wonder if he is authorized to use that symbol.  There are such things as copyrights and trademarks and licenses and stuff.
My husband's nephew said they come in different colors too: red, green and blue.  But I only saw this one morning when I went for a run. Oh well, what do I know.  I am just a lowly citizen, asking a question and they are the politicians and they should know better. Maybe he really can use that logo or something.

Anyway, I am not sure if I will vote for him.  They send us these piles of letters, especially for my younger sister who is a first time voter, spouting their 'accomplishments.' I will set aside one day to read through them and then recycle the papers later, he he so that it will be put to better use.

Making Memories Last

" Collect Moments, Not Things." I believe in this saying, that is why I love to travel so much.  I love being in a place where I get to to do new things and create new memories.  Just like early this year, when we conquered our fears and tried White Water Rafting in Cagayan De Oro and Ziplining in Bukidnon.  I can't swim, so doing an extreme sport like rafting was indeed a dream come true for me.  I made sure that this was documented with pictures on a CD, and to have a back-up, even before we left Cagayan, we looked for a cd burning station. 
And the zipline, which was Asia's longest at 840, 4500 ASL was really scary and really exhilarating! The adrenaline kick was amazing!
These are indeed moments that I will make sure to last and remember.  Aside from immortalizing them on my blog posts and Facebook status, ha ha, I will also make sure to have Cd copies of those adventured safely tucked away so that I can tell my grand kids how 'cool' I was on my heydays, hahahaha. 

April 10, 2013

Your Taxes Will Go A Long, Long Way

This morning, I saw this huge billboard of the BIR and Department of Finance in EDSA-Ortigas. It says "Your Taxes Will Go A Long, Long Way' and the bridge was made up of the words 'taxes.'  I agree with the BIR and DOF actually that we should pay our taxes correctly. Since I am a salaried employee, my taxes are already deducted from my monthly salary.  I have no other income so I dont need to file any additional income tax returns. It is really sad when you hear about people who are able to get away with paying their correct taxes.  Take doctors for example.  I have this personal experience with the obstetrician of my sister.  When we paid her professional fees, I asked for a receipt since we need that as an attachment to my sister's health card.  The assistant said that if we will ask for a receipt, we will need to pay an additional P500 for it. I cant remember what I did then but I think we ended not asking for a receipt since we were begging for a discount.  So, if they do not issue receipts, how are they taxed? Recently, my mother-in-law was hospitalized  and the fee for the doctor was P2,000 and it was written just on a notepad.  We paid it in cash at the cashier, and they just signed on it, no receipt was issued since they were just receiving the payment for the doctor.  And when you ask for a receipt, saying that you will claim for Philhealth, they will say that their fee is already net of Philhealth. Oh well, I just hope that the BIR and the DOF find a way soon to make them pay their taxes correctly.  And I also hope that those taxes are really then used for the service of the people, and not corrupted by a few. One can dream, right?

April 4, 2013

Financial Freedom

I grabbed this from Mich because I really want to have financial freedom. Check out these steps:
So I did and here's what I found out!
1. Not enough money growing up.
2. Spender
3. More money to travel and for emergencies
4. Oh no!
5. I wish have an emergency fund! I almost always only have a travel fund.
6. No insurance whatsoever. Hay.
7. I invest in my kids education by paying their tuition fees.  And I invest in memories that's why I travel.
8. What tax? I am paying too much already, I think!
9. I talk to like minded people, peple like me who only wants to travel, ha ha ha.

I guess its really going to be a long way towards financial freedom for me!

March 18, 2013

Financial Freedom

My eldest son is off to college in a year, and this year, I promised myself that I will start a college fund for him.  I know that I should have started this a long time ago, but it is only this year that we are able to breathe a little easy from all our loans and expenses.  I really want to have financial freedom, to have a little more money than I need, so that I have more when I need it.  One way to do this is for me to put some money away for investment.  I am learning to invest in the stock market and while I am not yet an expert, I know that I can do this with a little more research.  You can click here if you want to learn too. Following one of the books that I have read recently, I list down all of my expenses to check where my money is going and I realized that most of it goes to our travel expenses. Knowing this, I will try and limit my travel to 3 a year and put aside the money that I saved to my investment fund.  Now, that is a plan!

March 1, 2013

Graduation Gift

My little sister is graduating from college this May and I am getting her a new phone.  Well, I actually don't have a choice but to get her a new one since my hand-me-down phone she was using before was stolen during her thesis defense class.  She said her high marks on her thesis had a price, the stolen cellphone.  Anyway, my elder sister and I will share on the costs but my sister requested an Iphone 3G.  A second hand unit costs around five to six thousand pesos and I don't have enough money right now.  But she is currently using another old phone and I am now looking at batteries so it will last her until May.  You may click here if you want to see those batteries too.  Anyway, its still a good 2 months away and I know that something will come up and  we will be able to get that phone for her.  Its a momentous occasion for all of us, since it would mean that all 3 of us are finally college graduates, something that my mother is so proud of.  I was initially thinking of getting her a watch, to symbolize her coming of age (just like in Harry Potter) but its a phone she wants, so its an Iphone she will get.

February 25, 2013

I Really Need to Save!

I just came from  6 day, 5 nights vacation from abroad and now, I am broke. I went to see the magnificent Angkor Wat and the nearby temples.  I traveled to Phnom Pehn and was shocked to learn about the history of the killing fields in their not so distant past.  I also went to see the night markets and wished I had more money to spend for the trip.  I immersed myself in the local cuisine and had  a great taste bud adventure too.  I also traveled 6 more hours just to check out the night market in Ho Chi Min City.  And now that I am at home, I have no money, but I have lots of happy memories.  But I want to go back since this travel is with friends, so next time, I will be with my husband and college friends. So this is the reason why I need to save. I don't want to get the services of bankruptcy lawyers, even great ones like some Arizona Bankruptcy Attorney because of spending too much on my only vice, which is traveling. From now on, I will have another account where I will put some money for my trips. I am looking forward to more budget travels and maybe some with a little more budget than most.

February 7, 2013

Montalban's Sierra Madre Mountains

We were on our home last Sunday from our house in Montalban when my kids asked why the Sierra Madre mountain is brown.  And indeed, why o why? I cant very much see from where our car was but I am guessing its because of the quarrying in the mountain. Montalban was flooded during Ondoy and then again during Habagat.  I hope we take care more of our mountains.  I want my kids to still be able to enjoy these mountains!

February 6, 2013

Hello Again, My House!

Last weekend, my husband had his rare day-off from work scheduled on a Sunday.  So I had this grand idea that we will go there on Saturday later afternoon, spend the night, go swimming at a nearby resort, and go back to Sta Mesa early Sunday evening.  We have not visited out home for almost three months already and I really, really miss our home.  So the day before, I paid for our water bill and called to make sure that it was not yet disconnected.  We really had a bad experience about it once.

It was nice to discover that construction on our neighbor's house is on going, which means that vandals wont be doing harm to our unoccupied house as soon as they move in to theirs. The empty lot in front our house is also clean, with no mountain of garbage and animal wastes! 
 There are also more neighbors on the interior houses, meaning more people to look after our home.  Oh, in case you are wondering, our neighbors really do care after our house because they text me when something looks odd. Like the time when my husband forgot to lock the front door and it opened slightly.
 This is the beautiful view from my front porch.  Imagine waking up to this view everyday and just looking at it while sipping coffee. Yes, that's what I did last weekend! It indeed felt like coming home!
And a stay at our home will not be complete without a delicious breakfast to start the day.  Instead of swimming, we just spent the day eating, watching movies and eating some more.  I forgot to take pictures of dinner and lunch because I was just too lazy, haha.  A visit to my dream house really makes me happy and peaceful and I know that we will live here for good , soon!

February 2, 2013

I am Renting the House Out!

For all of you who have been reading this blog for some time now, you would know that this house has been built from our sheer determination.  My only wish is to have a beautiful house since I never had one when I was growing up.  I was shuffled from one house to another, and I vowed that when I am working, I would try to build a house for my own family.  Unfortunately for now, this dream house is so far from everything that we currently have in the house that we are renting that we have never really decided to move.  And now, a decision has been made: we will rent the house out!  It has been three months since we've been there, no thanks to the new job of my husband that makes planning our schedules impossible.  But we are going there today, to clean up, decide when to install Bidet King, and put up a "for rent" sign.  It really is against my wishes, but with our expenses going up, we need an additional income and the house might as well serve this purpose.  I just wish that whoever we get as tenants would love my dream house as much as I do!

January 17, 2013

Reviving The Dream House

Truth be told, I have given up on this house for far too many times already.  As you may know, I have spent a lot of money in this house, money that could have been used to improve the very small house that we are renting now.  But the name of this blog, Building my Dream House really sums it up.  This is my dream house, well I could hope that it was located somewhere much nearer our place of work and far from flooding, but its here now.  I dream about the house last night, as though we live there already, and I woke up feeling happy.  I really should go and visit the house soon, as its been more than a month since we last checked on it.  And I feel that I love the house once more, and I will try and persuade my family to live there in 3 years time.  Since its already, with tiles and rooms, and paints, there is really no other reason why we should not move, except for the fact that it may get flooded again! Every time I think about the flooring prices and installation that it costs us, I really cant help but hate the fact that it may flood again.  I feel so helpless against it! It was only that one time, but you wouldn't want it to happen again, but you cant do anything about it! But I know that a lot can happen in 3 years, and maybe the recent changes in the weather and the heightened awareness of people in nature can make a lot of difference.  Soon, I will be able to live with peace of mind and no fear of flooding in my house.  And you wait for the lots of improvements that I will do with it!

January 16, 2013

The Philhealth Nationwide Run 2013

My super friend Rona and her husband works at Philhealth and as early as last year, they were encouraging us to join the Philhealth Nationwide Run on February 17.  And I even saw that there is onsite registration at the Sports Loop in Robinsons Galleria on Feb 2-11. So convenient!

From to the run website,  18 SITES, 18 YEARS, 1 NATION

The nationwide run on February 17, 2013 marks PhilHealth’s 18years of service to the Filipino people, having been established in 1995 with the enactment of Republic Act 7875.

The event’s simultaneous staging across 18 sites in the country emphasizes the point of unity and oneness in aim and spirit. As PhilHealth’s 18th year anniversary celebration for February, dubbed National Health Insurance Month through Presidential Proclamation No. 1400 in 2007, it will surely stand different from the rest as one of historic and great proportions.

In support of the country's efforts towards achieving the Millenium Development Goals of reducing child mortality and improving maternal health, proceeds from the event will be used to support national and regional institutions promoting the protection of mothers and children in the country. The national beneficiary of the PhilHealth Run 2013 is the Philippine Children's Medical Center, and local beneficiaries vary per region. More than just a running event, it endeavors to uphold the importance of our mother’sand children's health in the challenge of nation-building.

I really want to join the run but I have a Cambodia trip two days after this event and I am saving all my money for that trip so I am not really sure if I can join.  But please do if you can.  Details are below:

More details here: Philhealth Run 2013