Money Talk

money-coinsEvery year, I tell myself that that is the year I’m going to go on full swing with my savings. And every start, I seem to succeed at doing so at least during the first half of the year but later something will happen which will involve unexpected expenses, then everything will spiral out of control from there.

One example was my last year. I was nearly recovering from the expenses from Dad’s passing the year before when all of a sudden, my dialysis clinic informed me that my insurance had been exhausted. After a month of paying from our own pockets, I got registered and accepted into a government hospital that gives dialysis for free. We rented a car because the new clinic was far. As convenient as a car seemed, it brought me financial troubles too which I am still paying for right now and is the biggest financial woe at the moment. I have already returned the car but I am still left with cleaning out the balance.

According to my estimate, I will be able to recover around April or May 2017.

I am writing because I want to declare that this the year I will take my savings seriously! I realized that I am no longer getting any younger so I better take this seriously now.

Part of my goals this year are to clear my debts and go crazy on savings and be frugal when and wherever possible.

To have a rough idea, this is my financial status right now:

Source of income:
– Work Paycheck

Debts:
– Bank Loan
– Car rental bill
– BFF

Usual Expenses:
– Food
– Transportation
– Medication
– Phone bills (mobile + landline)

Savings:
– Joined a 12-month Paluwagan this year 

Things I’ve thought of to save and/or earn extra income:
– Walk! Stop taking taxi rides especially for short distance destinations
– Cook own meal and magbaon
– Invest somewhere
– Find a side job somehow that actually pays
– Sell some unwanted items
– Control my impulse buying syndrome
– Limit bringing home pasalubong

It does not seem much but trust me they are! Especially the debts. I plan to get rid of them all this year except for the bank loan which I will finish only by September 2020.

In the following months, I will share here however I ways I figured can save and earn me money in hopes to motivate others and myself too.

This year….

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It’s 2017 and the following are some things I hope to get done (or started).

  • Exercise at least 15 – 30 minutes a day
  • Save
  • Get rid of debts
  • Clear the house of hoarded things
  • Prepare the house for tenants
  • Move out of the house
  • Start investing on something
  • Take better care of myself and condition
  • Save for future transplant
  • Travel somewhere

Child Sponsorship

 

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Click the photo to get to the World Vision website

Another bucket list item ticked off.

June 2016, I made my first donation to a 1-year pledge to a child named Jan Kingcy from Aklan, Philippines.

For just PhP 600.00 (approx.. AED 60.00) a month, I have the opportunity to possibly change a child’s life.

According to the World Vision Welcome Kit, Jan and I can also exchange letters and I can send him gifts through the program address. And should I decide to want to meet the child someday, that’s possible too.

I hope I can keep my commitment for a year and beyond.

What a difference a year can make…

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It is currently a beautiful day in December 2015 and I realized that my last entry was in November of last year. Where has the year gone???

My 2015 has been a trying year of stops and starts and each time I attempted to type an entry, some new chain of events would occur. As much as  I am proud to share that I was able to tick a few good items off my Bucket List, this year also unfortunately contains one of the biggest heartbreaks of my life, one which I am certain I will never recover from.

I started the year by having my old job back but as a regular which means better pay, better benefits, better support for my family and finally be able to start plans that I can financially commit to (Etisalat), I saw my right hand off as she goes back to the Philippines for good (Rayi), faced some long overdue heart issues, took part on a major concert featuring 6 famous Philippine bands when they performed in one of the world’s largest concert arenas (du Arena), dared to ride on the World’s Fastest Rollercoaster (Ferrari World), swam the waters of Musandam, Oman, took on the death-drop slide of Yas Waterworld, touched a real dolphin, have a photo taken infront of the World’s Tallest Tower (Burj Khalifa), made new good friends (“Pares” & “E-Friends”), made solid office friends, been awarded the Monthly Excellence Award at work twice, joined a badminton group in efforts to finally improve my health, contributed to our office t-shirt competition and won, organized a wedding and an OPMMAD event (somethings which I have not done in a while), and finally let myself experience some hotel staycations with friends.

Not bad for the year I turned 30, yeah?

Along with these “few” events, this year I was also able to tick off my Major Bucket List Item which it to experience to SCUBA.

In August, I understood why God will not agree or answer to some of my prayers.

However, miracles happen everyday and I am blessed to witness one which has unexpectedly changed my life and one which will change the life of someone dear to me (story is “arriving soon”) – all these before the end of the year.

I’ve learned and grew a lot this year. I wonder what the next year holds.

Hashtag: BringItOn

I’m a diver!

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I am proud to share that this year I was able to tick off a major bucket list item. It’s to experience how to breath underwater using SCUBA! Heck, it’s the reason why I have a bucket list to begin with!

I love being in the water and I’ve been curious about SCUBA ever since I can remember. But I’ve never gone around doing it due to time and financial reasons.

One fine day, I was looking at a groupon site offering a SCUBA fun dive. And that’s exactly what I was doing – looking. Just looking. I’m in Abu Dhabi and the offer was in Dubai. I had to think of time, transportation, and if whether or not I can do it. Yeah, I was procrastinating.

On that very same hour, I got a message on Facebook from the bride whose wedding I helped organize a couple months earlier. Apparently, she was looking for a dive buddy to enroll in SCUBA class! Ting ting!!! Jelan and I hit it off.

The class was costly but I thought it’s now or never. I just said yes and thought I’d figure out the rest later.

After we’ve saved enough money for the class, they happen to be offering a discount at the time we were ready to purchase. We grabbed it.

In my understanding, this class will teach and prepare us to enroll for a license to dive,which will be another set of class or payments and with exams and other procedures. But during our first meeting with our instructor, he was briefing us about how our session will go and our schedules. In the end,  he said, “then graduate na.” I got confused. Graduate? License? He said yes.

OH, WOW!!!

I didn’t know! I remember just looking at groupon and speaking to Jelan and said-yes-for-the-heck-of-it and now I’m gonna be a licensed diver! You can imagine the excitement in my head!

Further into the discussion, I thought this would take months, maybe three. But when we talked about our schedule of classes, to my shock (again), it will be just a collection of 4 sessions (meetings) – 4 days!

Class 1 : Orientation @ Controlled water area
Class 2 : First open water dive
Class 3 : Theory
Class 4 : Graduation

O-M-G! I  was screaming  inside!!!

We only met 3 times because we squeezed Classes 1 & 2 in one day. Meaning we were in the water for about 6 – 7 hours. I still have the tan line 5 months after.

The orientation was exciting like crazy! Instead of training us in a pool, our instructor Carlos, decided to take us directly to the beach.

For my first breath using the tank underwater, I really took the longest and deepest breath I’ve ever had my entire life. Since the breathing tank was filled with a mix of Oxygen and Nitrogen, the gas felt cold and sent a chill down my throat and I felt it travel down to my lungs and into its little chambers. I was in a cold high.

This is it! I am actually breathing underwater!

I have never paid so much attention in my life either. Other than this is THE ITEM, I am very much aware that we will be swimming 12 meters underwater and being alert, especially on critical situations, is a must. After all, SCUBA is a breathing apparatus, not a safety device. Anything can go wrong at anytime.

On our first dive, Carlos brought us to the depth of 12 meters in hopes that we will see seahorses but we did not find any. The water was cloudy that day so visibility was really very hard. He had to let us hold onto or stay really close to him while diving.

I remember seeing my first live sea urchin, I was literally screaming my lungs out underwater, even while the mouth piece was in my mouth. I just had to. It was too exciting.

There were mishaps too. Like the incident when we were told to descend into the deep water from the surface. For whatever it was I did, I suddenly started to drop towards the bottom like a rock! I tried not to panic but who wouldn’t?! I got scared that descending that fast would make my lungs collapse due to the pressure and make me have cramps which is also another serious problem while underwater. Plus just the fact that I had no control of what was happening did scare me. I tried but I did not know how to stop my uncontrollable descend. Thankfully, our instructors were alert and was able to grab my vest just in time before I’d have completely sunk.

We finished the day with Carlos congratulating us on how easy we pick up.

Graduation day had 3 dives! It was intense!

We drove all the way to Fujairah in the evening to be prepared for the dive the next day.

It was amazing to know that the water is not what it seem when you’re on the surface. Once we were 18 meters below, there was a whole other world going on under there!

There were man-made corals and fishes! ALOT of fishes! Carlos made us swim in the middle of the school of fishes and it was magical. We were surrounded by fishes like we were one of them.

I felt so proud of myself. Not everyone I know has the chance to see this. It felt great!

On August 7, 2015, I received my certificate that I am a licensed open water diver!

Life is great!

As written in my list:
Experience to SCUBA at least 1 puff underwater. Then I ended up with a license! Ain’t that kewl?!

 

Project : Autobiography

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The BFF and I have been discussing about memories and the possibility of loosing them due to old age. We thought that it would be nice to keep some sort of evidence or  journal about the lives we are living so we can recall them later and laugh at ourselves! Hehe. And so our families’ future generations can also get to know us long after we’ve gone.

Since we have been keeping blogs for quite some time now, we decided to take it up a notch and “try” to write a book. Something which can still be kept after all the computer servers in the world have crashed.

We will be making autobiographies! And this project will be due exactly a year from today.

September 10, 2015

We are not professional writers and often seek help from our friend Google.

Tips are welcome to help us with this goal.

^_^.

Technician No. 2

Al Khayef official poster signed by the cast. This will one day be of great value ;)
Al Khayef official poster signed by the cast.
This will one day be of great value 😉

The German stage play “Woyzeck” by George Buchner was adapted by Director Robert Liddington to fit the lifestyle in the Gulf and named it “Al Khayef.” Khayef is the name and description of the lead character which, in Arabic, roughly means “afraid.”

Al Khayef is a story about a man who was not the brightest person around, worked as a low ranking laborer, lived in poverty, worked very hard to earn a living, often being bullied by those who rank above him and his wife, Mariam, was an unfaithful woman. Mix all that and it could end up in a mess – and it did. I know because… I was there.

My costume
My costume

In my school years, I was a very active member of several school clubs and one of them was the music and performances club better known then as KANYAW (Kanta at Sayaw*). I was a performer or a crew member – sometimes both. All I know is that I have always been around the stage. There was a time when I thought I had given it up due to responsibilities brought upon adulthood. However, one day, I realized how much I missed it. It was just soon after that when I accidentally came across an organization called Organisasyon ng mga Pilipinong Mang-aawit at Mananyaw sa Abu Dhabi (OPMMAD**). Then I was back. I thought I knew how to sing, then I heard how they sang and by golly…they’re good! I have performed with the team a couple of times, I’m just not as confident like everyone else but I still settled in as an active administrative officer and I love it still.

Eventually, one of the persons we collaborated with in an international charity called Small World said that she is part of a non-profit theater organization called Resuscitation Theatre and they were holding casting workshop auditions for 2 plays. I thought I’d give it a try. I landed a support role called “Technician No.2.” It’s obviously not the lead but I felt like something inside me was revived. I enjoyed every rehearsal and as our Director Robert kept reminding us, “support roles and small scenes are just as important as the lead because they piece the stories together.” I had the time of my life.

I love knowing how bloody rehearsals get and how other backstage stuff happen to make the actual production seem like magic. I also love the hype and effort everyone puts into a show to make it work. And the best part, I get to be on stage too – showing what I really do! 🙂

I have collected as much photos as I could throughout the entire process from the audition to the after show party. Below are just a few I’ve decided to post. 🙂

 

I do not aim to be famous but I do aim to be creative. And the roles I commit to for as long as I am around a stage, is a form of expression — passion even.

 

*KANYAW , translated meaning “Sing and Dance”
**OPMMAD, translated meaning “Organization of Filipino Singers and Dancers in Abu Dhabi”