Saturday, February 28, 2015

And that's a wrap!


 

This month has been all about accomplishing my clearance at the Court of Appeals, collecting documents and filling up pre-employment forms for my new job AND applying for an exemption with the MCLE. In short, I've been up to my eyeballs in paperwork, collating paperwork and making sense of more paperwork while churning out as many decisions as I could. I thereby dedicate my new papercut to the person who invented forms.


I still don't know if I'll be joining the judiciary in the future, but I do know that I want to continue serving in the public sector, because it's really where I derive the most satisfaction from.


And that's a wrap!


This month has been all about accomplishing my clearance at the Court of Appeals, collecting documents and filling up pre-employment forms for my new job AND applying for an exemption with the MCLE. In short, I've been up to my eyeballs in paperwork, collating paperwork and making sense of more paperwork while churning out as many decisions as I could. I thereby dedicate my new papercut to the person who invented forms.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Cong. Sherwin "Spammer" Gatchalian

 I've been receiving these text messages from unknown numbers with alarming regularity:

Feb. 16 from 09156823621

NEWSFLASH! Pinuri ni Cong. WIN Gatchalian ang DOTC sa plano nitong magtayo ng Bus Rapid Transport system upang solusyunan ang trapik sa Metro Manila.

And in equally important news, after lunch, I removed a fishbone lodged in between my teeth before it could go down my throat and wreak serious damage.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Going for Gold

How crazy is this Emgoldex affair that the SEC recently issued a warning on? It was the first time I heard about it, but apparently it's been making the rounds worldwide with various countries issuing their respective disclaimers and warnings on it. I think it made its presence felt locally sometime last year with enthusiastic believers drumming up interest on it and doing the usual "You too can be as fabulously successful as I am!" spiel common to all MLM/ pyramid schemes.

Yes, it is definitely a pyramid scam. From what I gathered, one person invests something like Php35,000 and then invites two other people to invest the same amount. Every time his downlines invite two more people, the first person moves closer to the finish line. When has reached the required number of downlines, the first person "graduates" or exits the table with a whopping Php180,000, all from an initial investment of Php35,000. Now tell me, who wouldn't be blinded with such a scheme right? Php35,000 turns into Php180,000, in less than a month? Uh-mazing.

To lend it an air of legitimacy, you have the option to either get gold with your Php35,000 or if you exert a little effort and participate in the program, then your Php35,000 can turn into Php180,000. Bili na mga suki!

Ask Upline made a simulation of how much cash goes in and out of the tables per level and the result is pretty mindboggling. So much zeroes and it gets more convoluted as the tables age, hence the mad dash to become one of the first investors to reap the benefits of the pyramid.

Anyway, if you're into eavesdropping into peppery conversations (like I am!), I suggest heading over to Pinoy Money Talk and reading the forum on Emgoldex for a quick laugh. 

What's not funny though is how schemes like these always pop out with regularity. Some people never learn no? I remember someone who lost money in the Aman scam was interviewed and he said that he knew that it was a shady deal, but that he took the risk anyway because he might be one of the first and thus earn a hefty profit. So he was willing to earn a profit at the expense of others? Then it serves him right that he lost money. And if you don't learn from your mistakes or from the mistakes of others, then you had it coming and have no one to blame but yourself.

Buti nga sa iyo.

Going for Gold

How crazy is this Emgoldex affair that the SEC recently issued a warning on? It was the first time I heard about it, but apparently it's been making the rounds worldwide with various countries issuing their respective disclaimers and warnings on it. I think it made its presence felt locally sometime last year with enthusiastic believers drumming up interest on it and doing the usual "You too can be as fabulously successful as I am!" spiel common to all MLM/ pyramid schemes.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Spending Game

I play this silly game in my mind where I deliberate over what I would do if I suddenly came upon x amount of money. It's usually good for a few minutes of entertainment when I'm really bored (like now) and serves as a gauge of what my priorities are right that very moment. Let's begin!

If I had an extra...

...One Million Pesos, I would use it to fully pay off one mortgage (Php550,000) and split the remaining money 50-50 to pay down the second mortgage and form part of our Central Europe fund for next year.

Easter 2016 in Prague!

...Five Hundred Thousand Pesos, again it would be split between paying of the mortgage and funding our Central Europe vacation, with the mortgage taking 4/5 of the cash and our vacation fund the remaining 1/5.

... One Hundred Thousand Pesos, mortgage payments would still be king but I would set aside enough cash to buy or have a cross leg dining table made. Our current dining table is plastic fantastic and I've been dying to upgrade to a wooden table. I'm really loving the distressed look and feel of this table:


One of my best childhood memories is playing under the dining table, creating forts on top of and around the table and then squeezing myself underneath it with my siblings and cousins. Thus I look forward for my son and his cousins to also discover the magic of pretend play and the endless possibilities that a dining table can offer if you only use your imagination.

... Ten Thousand Pesos, it would be spent on a dining table no doubt.

... One Thousand Pesos, I would buy a tube of Bobbi Brown Creamy Matte Lip Color simply because lipstick guru Rae talks so highly of it, and for someone like her who takes her lipsticks seriously to give that level of praise means that this is The One. I'm thinking a fun, pink lippie would be a nice addition to the 2-3 tubes that I already have (excluding lip balms) since my lip color arsenal is mostly limited to reds and variations of red.

Okay, enough daydreaming and back to work! No way are those pre-employment forms going to fill themselves up.

The Spending Game

I play this silly game in my mind where I deliberate over what I would do if I suddenly came upon x amount of money. It's usually good for a few minutes of entertainment when I'm really bored (like now) and serves as a gauge of what my priorities are right that very moment. Let's begin!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Debt and Depression

There's no denying that debt is debilitating and has ruined one too many lives, but the effect of debt on a person's psyche was once again brought to the spotlight with the recent news of the suicide/ murder of the Hsieh family.


The news outlets say that the family's business went bankrupt and with their mounting debts with loan sharks and the knowledge that under Taiwanese law their children will inherit their debt, the parents deemed it best to just kill their children and themselves.


I've heard people ranting about how death was not the only solution that they could have pared down their belongings and sent their children to less expensive schools in order to pay their debts down. And those are very valid solutions, but the thing is, you don't really think rationally when crippling debt gets a hold of you and drags you down into deep depression.


Debt and Depression

There's no denying that debt is debilitating and has ruined one too many lives, but the effect of debt on a person's psyche was once again brought to the spotlight with the recent news of the suicide/ murder of the Hsieh family.

The news outlets say that the family's business went bankrupt and with their mounting debts with loan sharks and the knowledge that under Taiwanese law their children will inherit their debt, the parents deemed it best to just kill their children and themselves.

I've heard people ranting about how death was not the only solution that they could have pared down their belongings and sent their children to less expensive schools in order to pay their debts down. And those are very valid solutions, but the thing is, you don't really think rationally when crippling debt gets a hold of you and drags you down into deep depression.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Estate and Tax Planning

 We took a not-so-quick drive up to Baguio last weekend to enjoy the weather and so that I could attend the one day seminar "Families' Guide to Estate and Tax Planning" at the Baguio Country Club organized by the Center for Global Best Practices (CGBP). I've had my eye on this seminar for quite a while now, but was always put off by the steep price of Php8,900++ just for a one day seminar. So when I saw that the CGBP would hold the same seminar in Baguio for a third of the price, and after I confirmed that I could use the Court of Appeals Baguio cottage assigned to our division, I immediately paid my seminar fee and locked in my slot.

I enjoyed the seminar and the speaker, Atty. Nicasio Cabaneiro, was a hoot but I'm really glad I waited for the reduced price because when it comes to takeaways and new knowledge on estate and tax planning, there were honestly not a lot. I took a full semester of wills and succession in law school, so the whole seminar ended up being a quick review. Nothing new to be perfectly honest. Also, between the estate planning session in my RFP course and Atty. Angelo Cabrera's book "Thy Will Be Done", the most entertaining law book I've ever read bar none, it seems I had pretty much covered the foundations of estate planning.

On the other hand, I can imagine that if you're not a lawyer, you would have been overwhelmed with the influx of data but would have hopefully been spurred to action to get your estate in order ASAP. Or at the very least to come up with a will, making it well worth the registration price IMO.

While I may not have had any new takeaways when it comes to estate planning, the anecdotes shared by Atty. Cabaneiro from his practice and experiences with the BIR were well worth the (reduced) admission. It's really these "war stories" that inspire me to attend seminars, to know what it's like from someone who's been there and done that.

I won't recommend this seminar to a fellow lawyer, but if you avail of the reduced price (CGBP calls it their missionary seminars) and bundle it with a weekend in Baguio with your family, then it becomes a very sweet deal indeed, even if you already have a background in estate and tax planning.

As for Baguio, I know a lot of people have complained about the deteriorating air quality and loss of pine trees because of the erected SM, but the 10°C mornings still felt very invigorating to this city girl who has long resigned herself to muggy weather. Although we did make it a point to avoid Session Road altogether (too polluted and way too much jeepneys!) and basically just limited our stay to the Camp John Hay area and the Court of Appeals compound.

My husband shares my love of Baguio and Sagada, and we hope to one day bring our son there too, to show him just how beautiful the Philippines really is and how blessed he is to be living in a country so diverse and teeming with nature's bounty.

Estate and Tax Planning

 We took a not-so-quick drive up to Baguio last weekend to enjoy the weather and so that I could attend the one day seminar "Families' Guide to Estate and Tax Planning" at the Baguio Country Club organized by the Center for Global Best Practices (CGBP). I've had my eye on this seminar for quite a while now, but was always put off by the steep price of Php8,900++ just for a one day seminar. So when I saw that the CGBP would hold the same seminar in Baguio for a third of the price, and after I confirmed that I could use the Court of Appeals Baguio cottage assigned to our division, I immediately paid my seminar fee and locked in my slot.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Life Happenings

Where do I even begin with what's been happening in my neck of the woods? In a nutshell, we'll be moving houses, playing landlord, taking on new challenges, tightening our belts and I'll be adding RFP in my calling card (at least after I pay the membership fee and if I had a calling card).


Life Happenings

Where do I even begin with what's been happening in my neck of the woods? In a nutshell, we'll be moving houses, playing landlord, taking on new challenges, tightening our belts and I'll be adding RFP in my calling card (at least after I pay the membership fee and if I had a calling card).