Tuesday, March 29, 2011

MBA Life

9:00 pm...Just got home from a good dinner at Sangkai Japanese restaurant with my MBA classmates.

We'd a little celebration because second semester is over and we had a successful presentation of our Marketing Plan 2 hours ago, what a huge relief! We'd been throwing our effort, joggling time with this project since March 16 (where we stayed from 10am to 9pm at Kangaroo during Araw ng Dabaw!) and finished it prior to the deadline, thanks to our professor, Dr. Danny Te, who allowed us to use the revolutionary Marketing Plan Pro software. This software, powered by Duct Marketing, is famously used by top business executives in the US, including CEOs around Silicon Valley.

 Paying attention to the presentation
Our professor, Dr. Te, listened intently as one of my group mates presented the background of the company

Back in college, when I took this subject, our instructor then did not allow us to work as a group (on marketing plan) because we were only 12 in the class so we did it individually and took three months before it was completely finished.

Now of course, is a bit different, with the presence of modern technology and the benefits of having a Marketing Plan Pro software, everything can be done in just 3 days as long as you have all the necessary business data. I was a bit lucky also to be included in a very supportive and understanding group. While still brainstorming with our plan, we tried balancing each moment of anxiety by sharing weird and silly conversations then burst in laughter, we often find time to smile and relax or else tension will creep in. So we insisted to feel at home at Kangaroo, making it our temporary venue for leisure and knowledge..hehe!

On our last meeting (March 26), we agreed to spend dinner together after the presentation at Sangkai  (fronting Central Bank) to loosen up. We really got a nerve to volunteer last week to our professor that we should be the first group to defend our plan, as if we're really prepared..hehehe...self-confidence, that's it (haha!)...and luckily we did it wonderfully. We also agreed in the group that only two will present the plan and the rest will help out on the discussion.

And so it was...Last night (March 29) at 6:00 pm everything runs smoothly. No complications, no anxieties, no pressure. It was a fulfilling night for all of us. After an hour, we're done and excitedly went downstairs to head to Sangkai Restaurant, we rode in Dottie's car and the rest of the evening was filled with laughter!
California Maki at Sangkai, so yummy!!
Ramen soup!
Gyouza
Learning how to use the chopsticks is my great accomplishment this evening..lol!

So, once again, we enjoyed poking fun at each other, sharing life's great lessons while giggling on some silly and weird jokes, we chuckled like teenagers. It was great, a truly fantastic evening. We easily get along maybe because we shared the same humor, the same common sense (hehe), we easily understood each other.

Talking about Marketing Pro software (powered by Duct Tape Marketing):

This is the most innovative and fastest way to write a Marketing or Business plan. All the tools needed for a business research are included. The software will automatically generates data and deliver all professional documents needed  for the plan unlike before when we would write every detail of the strategies and sales forecasts and arranged it manually. Now it's a bit easier and I am glad I encountered this software since this is very useful in the actual business practice.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

San Pedro Cathedral, stepping on Theological history

San Pedro Cathedral, one of the largest Catholic Churches in Asia, made another history with its newly refurbish altar and tabernacle. The grand renovation, which partly done in Baroque architecture, has a stunning contrast of Gothic and Renaissance designs ushering both Theological and modern influences. This is quite interesting since only few Catholic churches in the Philippines so far use Baroque architecture. The structure is furnished in Auburn color accentuated with panel of Gold shade with emblems of Eucharistic mystery. The tabernacle has a luminous ray of Sapphire and Cobalt blue combinations.  
 
 The Cathedral's roof structure is designed like a boat symbolizing St. Peter's humble beginning. According to the Holy Bible, when he was handpicked by Jesus Christ to be His disciple, he was still Simeon, the Fisherman, Jesus then renamed him Peter and was later on selected as the "rock" whom Christ built His church. St. Peter became the first Pope, thus, all Popes are called Vicars of Christ and successors to the throne of St. Peter.
My favorite Vicar of Christ, Pope John Paul II the Great, who will be BEATIFIED this May 1, 2011. Due to his unique charisma, kindness and humility, he was dubbed by the international media as the most beloved Pope of all time.

Since my college years, I regularly attended mass at the San Pedro Cathedral and spent quiet moments at the adoration chapel (on the right wing) when I am "down", there, I find solace and peace of mind while silently sharing all my resentment, misery and longing to God and other Saints. Lately, I developed a habit, in reverence to the cathedral's rules, of not bringing my cellphone when going to the church.

But today, March 27, I accidentally tuck it under my pocket but I didn't go back to my room because I might not catch the 12:00 noon mass. I switched it off though. When I arrived at the gate, I was amazed with the fantastic renovation, right then I understood why my cellphone insisted to accompany me to the church..hehe!


The luminous backdrop, done in Baroque architectural design featuring Auburn with a sparkling panel of gold shades. The structure represents the stunning contrast of Gothic and Renaissance period with Theological influence. 
 The altar's center is highlighted with the image of the crucifixion of Jesus (I am still wondering why the Cathedral still uses this image since according to our parish priest in Surigao all Catholic Churches must used the Christ image in resurrection). On Jesus's right side is Mother Mary and on the left is St. Peter. For people who often wondered with the statues being put on the Church's altar, here it is: According to Vatican II council, there will only two "statues" to be put along with Jesus on the altar, first is Mother Mary, second is the patron saint of the parish.
The elegant Pulpit with images of Catholic saints carved on it. I am sorry I forgot to come closer to the "stand" to see who are these saints, I will find it next Sunday.
The Cathedra (the name of bishop's chair) is positioned in Apse, semi-Baldachinum structure with details similar to the Catholic churches in Rome, Italy. Apse, which is famous among Europe's churches, is not traditionally part of the bishop's chair sanctuary in the Philippine Catholic churches, so this latest development in San Pedro Cathedral will surely draw interest from churchgoers and visitors.
Adoration chapel on the right wing of the Cathedral, one of my favorite "hang-out" areas when I am in deep trouble
 The right wing of the Cathedral where I find peace of mind when I am emotionally bothered
The left-wing chapel where confession booths are situated. The resurrected Christ dominates the center of the altar
Fr. Life Simbajon after the 12:00 noon mass. I trotted (with other photographers, hehe!) in front of the altar while Fr. Simbajon gave his blessings to the children but I didn't take a front shot of him because it is highly inappropriate and unethical. All religious authorities should be respected inside the church
Full view of the Cathedral's stunning altar featuring Baroque and Ciborium designs with Theological influence

So after the mass, I immediately pulled my cellphone and took pictures. Ever wondered why I didn't have a close-up shot of the altar? It's because the Catholic Church rule strictly prohibits people to take on the altar-ledge (steps leading to the Eucharistic table) to do pompous activities like taking pictures, it is always considered a sacrilege.

At Kangaroo Again :-)

A breathing space...

At last I can move comfortably in the office. The intensity of work load during summer is not as heavy as that of the semesters', the office hour kicks at 8:00 in the morning so I will not be compelled to wake up as early as 6:00, I still have plenty of minutes to prepare.hehe!
Completely caught off guard..haha!photo courtesy of Yam Limbaga :-)


with Juvy 
The final months of this school year thoroughly depleted all the energy and patience I saved, plummeting my already disillusioned system. I am reconsidering of taking an exodus. It’s so intensely difficult to pretend that everything is fine with my pulse when deep inside I am ready to crumble with fury and anguish.

The hidden animosity finally flared up and nailed further my discomfort. But after my resentment subsided (five hours ago), I realized that if I will tolerate my impulsiveness it will bring me further to nowhere, considering disillusioned workers in other companies and institutions lashing bitterly their employers, looking for unsure jobs in other backyards would never appease my tired mind. So I decided to stay on, this summer I will throw all my effort working on affiliate marketing and books.

My disenchantment temporarily receded when I attended the College Graduation in the morning. 

After taking lunch with my colleagues at the UIC Bajada gymnasium, I went straight to Kangaroo (again) to join my classmates in Marketing Management. It was our third time at Kangaroo. We’re still wrapping the Marketing Plan for next week presentation. While walking along V.Tiongko (going to Kangaroo), I could feel the warmth of the afternoon air, the quiet environment alleviated my distress and pacified the little misery I felt. We had a nice afternoon, lots of laughter and funny anecdotes while planning how to present our plan. While enjoying the whole afternoon, we agreed to go out for dinner after our presentation this Tuesday to relax and loosen up.
 Sipping Kanga Tea Latte in a strawberry flavor at Kangaroo this afternoon
My favorite food at Kangaroo. Fish fillet with Lemon butter sauce
....and my favorite drink Passionfruit Iced Tea

Life in the graduate school is always fascinating and exciting. It provides me with fresh air to breath.

Great Contrast

I don’t want to toss myself back to the moment where I could feel nothing but distress and resentment. No, that’s not exactly how I would run my life at the moment. So I managed to maintain a sunny disposition despite being ravaged by frustration, disappointment, rejection and oh yes fever.

I don't want to be haunted with negative energies. I want a different life, a different outlook to attract happiness and contentment. So despite having fever, I managed to attend my evening classes this week to divert my mind from anxieties and worries. Every time I am in the classroom, it seems I am a new person, it feels like I am living a different life—a great contrast when I am in the office.

There’s nothing more exciting and fulfilling than life in the graduate school, sounds like a perfect antidote for my sordid life. It’s like breathing a fresh air.
 Paying attention to the speaker in one of our seminar-workshop sessions 
My classmate took this shot.haha! Don't be shocked but most of us in the classroom wore school i.d all the time

Last Thursday, while solving a complicated case assignment in our managerial accounting, my classmates pacified the stressful night with their usual antiques of initiating weird conversation which broke us in laughter. After the class, I went straight home to take a little rest, I didn't join my classmates having dinner somewhere because I was afraid they would force me to drink,oh no!!!

I just came home from my Ignatian Leadership for Managers class (a while ago) which lasted more than three hours but I was not bored at all in fact it was a wonderful session. And wait! I have no absent with this subject! What an accomplishment! Since day one, I religiously attended this class because our professor had so many worthy and interesting inputs, her sharing was fascinating, I learned so many things from her and the interactions (with classmates) and sharing were great!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Kangaroo

Photo from www.lakwatseraako.blogspot.com

Kangaroo is a coffee shop located along Tiongko and Mapa Streets, Davao City (walking distance from Central Bank). This is one of the most comfortable cafe shops in the city I'd ever visited and one of my favorites because of its calm, clean and quiet environment, away from the chaotic surrounding of the city. It has a very homely and neat ambience, perfect for people who want to study, do assignments or simply looking for a temporary place for respite. It is a wifi zone so you can bring your laptop and surf the net endlessly.
My favorite food at Kangaroo, fish fillet with Lemon-Butter sauce
Passionfruit Iced Tea

I'd gone there several times with my classmates, brainstorming for our marketing plan and doing some homeworks. The foods are great and the concoctions, smoothies are simply amazing! My favorite is the fish fillet menu which has a lemon-butter sauce. Passiofruit Iced Tea and Coffees are also great. What I love about this cafe shop is its typical home-like area. The comfort room has a relaxing design with lots of magazines and books piled on each corner. This place is styled similar to a typical house setting with books around the corner.
Cake and pastries at Kangaroo. Photo from www.lakwatsera.blogspot.com

Members of the service crew are all nice and accommodating, and I think they have lots of patience for customers who stayed longer.hehe! During Araw ng Dabaw, while still working our initial concept of our marketing plan, me and my group mates stayed for 11 hours but we never heard them  enough dragged chairs or bungled plates, haha!

Anyway, over-all, Kangaroo is an excellent cafe shop to visit and relax.

Gardenia Whole Wheat Bread

When it comes to healthy lifestyle, eating whole wheat bread is always a wonderful choice.

In fact, Whole Wheat bread is the most recommended food by health professionals to be eaten because of its nearly perfect nutritional components. The bran in whole grain foods is still intact unlike other varieties like processed flours and milled grains. Bran carries high concentration of fibers, niacin and other vitamins and minerals necessary for our body's important functioning.

Among the brands of whole wheat bread I'd tried, the one from Gardenia is the best because I could feel the real whole wheat granules in every bite, aside from wonderfully tasty, whole wheat from Gardenia is extra soft  which is not difficult to chew especially if I am in a hurry. It has a pleasing scent too. I regularly eat this bread at dinner time accompanied with milk or tea.

Confessions of an Impatient Bride

Written by Rissa Singson-Kawpeng with foreword from Bo Sanchez, this book is a compilation of Rissa’s column in Kerygma magazine “Just Breathe”.

This book is a warm testimony of how God designed each destiny carefully. While “waiting” seemed to be the most distressing word to hear when you are over 30 years old, it is an excellent opportunity to ponder hard on fate why God allowed it to happen, understanding thoroughly our mission and purpose in life better.

Each chapter is drizzled with sharp humor and wit of the author to convey clearly the message of God that everything comes with a single purpose. She described the agony of waiting in a fascinating way that one can truly realize why God let us “wait” for so long. Through this book, single ladies will know God's  miracle in presenting His "special gift". God never abandon anyone. And through this book, we've got to believe that somewhere in this world, God prepares a special gift for us and we don’t need to seek it everywhere, it will just come when the time calls it perfect.

This book had helped me realized that rushing into anything in life is always a bad idea and never actually help in the long run. God listens to every prayer we uttered, that He is a loving God who never ignore those who believe in the power of prayers. The author herself waited for more than one decade before God finally showed His special “gift”. This is an inspiring book to all single ladies who seemed impatient to find “the one”.

Nichido Starlight Lip Color

I am not into lipstick because I hate the "bulk" feeling it gives to my lips, besides, some lipsticks have no moisturizer or "glossy" effects so I prefer to use lip gloss instead because it has a dual action, it is both lip color and moisturizer.

I have four collections of lip gloss, all cheap, since I cannot afford the expensive varieties, but whenever I go shopping, especially for cosmetics, I usually go with the quality, apart from the common notion that quality products are only confined on the branded stuff, you are terribly wrong as there are also affordable brands that offer the best quality products, all you have to do is to be a wise shopper.

One of my latest "discoveries" in cosmetics is Nichido Starlight Lip Color, it is very affordable with a price of only P120.00. What I love about this product is its luscious scent, very fruity and sweet and it has a very light effect on my lips. It shimmers right away even if I just apply a small amount. 

This lip gloss is very easy to use as it comes with a paint-like packaging which users can control the amount of lip gloss to be applied. This is one of my favorite cosmetics and used it more often than other lip gloss because it suited my lifestyle. I am using the "georgia" variety because it compliments my color. Georgia is somewhat pale red and hot pink which spark innocence and lightness while creating a sophisticated lips for everyday use. The watery effect makes everything perfect for my daily looks, plus it will last for about six hours.


Garnier Whitening Cream

For the past years, I was looking for a moisturizing cream which would not only prevent dullness and darkspots on the skin surface but also makes me able to apply it in the morning without any oily effect on my face. Since I have an oily skin, picking a morning cream is a tedious task. 

I went to the Watson store in the mall and read every description of facial creams there until I stopped at Garnier, religiously reading its contents. After reading its natural ingredients: herbal extracts and pure lemon essence with SPF 15, I decided to give it a try. I have an ultra-sensitive skin which made me very cautious in selecting products  ever since, so I tested it first in my skin and after 12 hours without any irritation, I started using it.

It was great! After using it for about a week, I could feel the smoothness in my skin, it covers my pores and the fine texture even out my fine lines around my  forehead. I used it every morning as my sunblock, I also top it with face powder to have an excellent result.

Garnier Whitening Cream is a skin lightening which has a perfect combination of lemon extracts and other herbs which successfully eliminate dark spots and flattens fine lines around the skin surface.

It has SPF 15 which protects the skin from the damaging effects of the sun. It has a soothing scent from lemon and a fine texture which can be applied all through the day.

Being a godmother

The truth is, I’ve twelve godchildren already, but I was not able to attend personally the christening of the four kids so I am hesitant to admit it in my senses if my role in their lives is  valid both in religious practice and in sentiments. I am yet to ask my father (I think he has a good explanation on this because he is one of the lay ministers in our place assigned to conduct lecture/seminar for pre baptism and pre cana) or some experts about it. Not that I am rude or cruel or what, but I am just confused with its legality.
 My 9th godchild both in legality and sentiments (haha!), Stephanie Louie D. Bacalso, carried by her mother, Junna

But whatever the acceptable practice, the truth is, being chosen as one of the godmothers is always a great privilege.

It also brings back good memories with my own godmother back in the province.

I had only two godmothers and two godfathers at baptism and there is one godmother of mine whom I always looked up to when it comes to understanding the real role of a godmother. I am super close to her since I was a little girl. She always treated me as her own daughter. She would lavish presents of any kind (money most often, hehe) even if there was no occasion. Even up to now, my God at my age? She would still give me anything! She is really amazing. She never failed to ask my parents how’s my life, what I am doing, where I am now. I also treated her as my mother, whenever I see her around I would rush to her side and kissed her hand and asked what she’s doing. The bond is very strong and the respect I have for her is so huge! Her children also treated me as one of their siblings.
 Fooling around after the reception. A great reunion...
...with our silliness..hehe!

It feels good from deep within. I often think about it, about her kindness and generosity to her godchildren. Being a godmother does not begin and end in the church during the baptism ceremony. It is a lifetime responsibility. Yesterday, I had another opportunity to stand as a godmother of my friend’s eldest child. I’d known my friend for almost three years now and she’s one of my dearest friends. We shared the same house for two years and some silly moments together. I often shared my ups and downs to her without any reservations. Hehe! So it made the whole event extra special.
 Yummy cupcakes

I hope I would be able to live up to the real role of a godmother just like what my own godmother had shown to me through all these years.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Life is Fabulous!

For the past years since adopting the habit of scribbling thoughts and emotions in my journal   (even online), I’d noticed that I often talked about grief, about misery, about my loneliness and pain in life. I seldom write about happiness, blessings and contentment, as if the keyboard won’t cooperate if I would not write something about agony and resentment. Why I became so hostile and ungrateful about my existence? As if God totally abandoned me?

While reading the book about Anne Frank, it came to my senses that I am still very lucky to live in an era where there are no more torment and horrors of wars brought by fascism and insecure people like Hitler, in an era where technologies provide relief of tramping to the library flipping books about history. Though earthquakes and other terrifying calamities hammered other countries, I am living in an environment where natural disasters rarely happen. Thank God!

So now I will begin writing about joy, about how blessed I am to live in a comfortable surroundings with lots of laughter and warmth. How fortunate I am to wake up each morning listening to the soothing music of the wind, witnessing the dancing of the leaves up on the trees, watching the magnificent sunrise spreading its usual magic and charm.

Last Wednesday, March 16, me and my group mates started writing our Marketing Plan for our class presentation, we agreed to meet at Kangaroo along Tiongko. We had a grand time there, talking weird things, sharing silly jokes, laughing in-betweens and eating endlessly. We had so much fun that night.

Yesterday, March 17, I read several articles about the most spectacular castles in Europe for my Castles in Europe blog, it made me smile because it feels like I am traveling back in time to the land of happiness and serenity. For a while, I forgot the danger of experiencing earthquakes and Tsunami and the threat of catching radiation. At 6:00pm I attended my managerial accounting class, though I extremely disliked this subject, there’s a surge of contentment every time I am in our classroom because my classmates never failed to make the evening so lively and crazy.

Today of course is another wonderful day. Though I was hugely annoyed with the inconsiderate behavior of some ill-mannered students in the program, I never took it against the whole universe. Before my irritation flared up, I stood up, breath deeply, glared the throng of rude students and strode away. I went to the faculty room and seated in the long table facing the big Calda pizza, oh my God! I’d never seen such huge pizza in my whole life! Honestly, I am not a pizza lover, I hate it and if it is the last food left in the world, I would rather eat boiled alugbati than bite pizza, oh geeeeez! But this afternoon, pizza appeared like a yummy food, like a mouthwatering blueberry cheesecake or my all time favorite Brazo de Mercedes. So I took one slice,  then another slice again and again, until it felt like my stomach was ready to explode. 

Yeah it was great! No, not the pizza but the feeling of being free from anxieties and animosities. Today is not as bad as yesterday or the other day. I went back to the office with a lighter spirit. Lol! At 6:00 pm I attended my Ignatian Leadership for Managers class, one of my favorite subjects in the graduate school. We had a wonderful session, the seminar-workshop organized by my classmates run smoothly with lots of worthy inputs and sharing given by the group who presented the topic. We had a great dinner too.

Life after all is not composed of misery, sufferings and irritation. There are more into it, more amazing things to discover, more excitement to unfold. Life is not about daily clutters and struggles and grudges, it is more about thrill, enthusiasm and discovery. Life itself is a journey and discovering new things along the way is part of the journey.

Now I don’t want to dwell so much on the sufferings and loneliness, I would like to see life beyond misery and emptiness. 

So I will begin my journey here, treating life as magical and privilege.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Cafe Shops in Davao

Today is Araw ng Dabaw

But how the celebration looks like? My answer is--- I don't know.lol!

Since living in the city for almost 18 years now, there were only few occasions that I went to the street and joined the crowd watching float parade and other activities. It's a little pretty boring thing watching throngs of people going everywhere in the city, so I chose to stay in the boarding house than be melted under the scourging heat of the sun.

This year, nothing has change. No difference from the previous years, but with a little upgrading..haha! Walking through the maze of people under the pouring rain and with a malfunctioned umbrella, I went straight to the Central bank to join my classmates (going to Kangaroo).

We arrived at Kangaroo Coffee shop at exactly 10:00 then poured writing our Marketing Plan right away, we divided the tasks so that we can finish it faster. There, I find peace of mind while pondering what to write on the business plan. It was a quiet day, full of laughter, and again, I had eaten plenty, argggh!

Kangaroo is different from other coffee shops in the city I'd visited, it is very comfortable and homely. You got to serve yourself too. The comfort room really gives you comfort, very clean with lots of books and magazines!

It was my first time also to spend 11 straight hours at the coffee shop! I wonder how the Kangaroo staff thought about us..hehe..I got home past 9:00 pm and already very exhausted but I didn't sleep right away. After updating my diary, I wrote my usual "things to be done" stuff in my little notebook and wrote the Summary of our Marketing Plan.
My favorite food at Kangaroo. Fish fillet with Lemon butter sauce
and my favorite drink Passionfruit Iced Tea

For two months I've been to many coffee shops in Davao City either discussing business opportunities with Kathy or doing assignments with my classmates. But most of all, devouring foods. At Chiccos I usually ordered Brazo and Garlic bread, at Cafe Demitasse I adored their Creamy Carbonara, Monte Cristo and Belgian Fries at Fagioli, Smoothies are the best!
Chicco's Garlic Bread
Monte Cristo Sandwich at Cafe Demitasse
Coffee Smoothie at Fagioli

Looks like I gained 3 pounds in just two months. But I am not really conscious with my weight, I am still within the limit, even I devoured foods too much, I rarely gain beyond 5 pounds. I also jog and do some aerobics weekly so it balances everything. Besides, foods are hard to resist when I am at the Cafe Shops serving European dishes..hahaha!

Why I admired Warren Buffet

Warren Buffet, the third richest man in the world, declared he would give 80% of his fortune to charitable causes. In 2009, he donated $42 billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation which affected his ranking in Forbes Magazine's World's Billionaires.

In life, there are people who really leave an impressive mark in our imagination because of their rareness. Among them is Warren Buffet.

Warren Buffet is the legendary American billionaire whose immense wealth made him the world's richest man in 2007. He built his fortune through shrewd investing style, techniques he learned from Intelligent Investing author, Benjamin Graham. Buffet famously dubbed by experts as one of the most brilliant investors in world history. But despite his billions, Buffet remained humble and simple, his  frugality became a legend in the world's business circuit.  

He has no expensive mansion, he continues to reside in a modest house in Omaha, Nebraska which he bought in the late 1950s, most of the time, he personally drives his own car, he never carry a cellular phone and no computer at his working desk. 


He wears simple attire, mostly tailor-made suits from a Chinese brand named Trands. I saw one of his video interviews with Bill Gates where he just don a simple red polo and cream slacks. That interview was organized by the students of the University of Washington, he and Gates gamely answered questions about investment strategies, he spoke with humor, just like a typical grandpapa, he had no inhibitions and I'd noticed that he loved to poke fun at Bill Gates who frequently laugh at his hilarious punch lines.

I am also amazed with his compassion to help the less fortunate when he declared to leave 80% of his wealth to charitable institutions in the form of annual gift of stocks. 

His vast shares of stocks at his investment company, Berkshire Hathaway, the world's 3rd most admired company, would most likely go to Susan Thompson Buffet Foundation which he established in the 70s with his then wife, Susan Thompson. He also declared to contribute annually to the foundation of his business partner and best friend, Bill Gates (Bill and Melinda Gates foundation). 

He and Bill Gates established "The Giving Pledge" a nonprofit organization which encourages richest Americans to donate considerable portion of their wealth to charitable causes, in 2010 they successfully recruited Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, into the organization.

Warren Buffet is a self-made billionaire, despite being an only son of a prominent American politician and businessman, so he wanted his children to work hard for their future too and not rely so much on inheritance, a principle followed by Bill Gates who once said "I observed that the less motivated people are the wealthiest" (a quote from Time magazine).

More than a billionaire, Warren Buffet devoted his attention giving what he had to the people who don't have anything, and that's the highest form of compassion and generosity. Forbes magazine released its annual listing of World's Billionaires a week ago naming Mexican mogul, Carlos Slim Helu, as the world's richest man, Bill Gates is number 2 and Buffet number 3. 

But in reality, if the survey would be solely based on overall fortune, Warren Buffet would have been the world's richest man closely followed by Bill Gates. But Gates and Buffet's bulk of fortune went to Charity which greatly affected their standing in Forbes ranking. But they remain unaffected, their only concern is not on the stature and reputation of being the world's richest men but on sharing what they had to the world's needy.

At 80, Warren Buffet is still the same man who transformed the dying textile manufacturing firm, Berkshire Hathaway in 1962, into the world's largest investment company, his smart investment techniques are still there, partly rescuing the US economy from going to the bottom of recession in 2009, hence, experts called him "The White Knight from Omaha".

There are several billionaires who already amassed fortune through investment but none of them could duplicate the fame and success of Warren Buffet in intelligent investing and his unique dedication to give away considerable part of his fortune to the world's dispossessed. Read here more about Warren Buffet.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Tired!

...And it felt that way all the time. Why all these negative energies start reappearing?


It spurred through one fateful event which was the last straw that broke the camel's back.


Then another...


Just this morning I felt so annoyed with some people who lacked common sense. But I don't want to go on tolerating all these negative forces inside, because it would just create a huge hole in my system and for heaven's sake I am tired carrying emotional baggage.

For the past years, I mastered the art of pretension by keeping my annoyance towards other people with in me, I also discovered how to maintain self control and how to escape weariness-- by updating my blogs. Most often than not, it helps pacified my irritation and mood swing.

Writing is always a good relief, a welcome respite and an excellent sanctuary for my cluttered mind. Every time I feel my tantrums would push me to act unreasonably, and every time bad days made me think I am a useless creature, I know where to run ---- writing. So yesterday afternoon, I buried myself composing new entries for my seven blogs.

At 5:00 pm I went home and decided to postpone my plan to buy something for my godchild. Usually when I have no class at the graduate school, I would take a nap at 5:15 to 6pm to rest my tired muscles, but this afternoon, I didn’t, instead I re-read the content of “Anne Frank, the diary of a young girl” book because I needed something or someone to inspire me, to take me far away from all these mess, to a different world where serenity reigns.
Anne Frank was a 15 year-old Jewish girl living in Holland during World War II whose family was betrayed to Gestapo (Hitler's notorious police). She died at Belsen's concentration camp on March 1945, two months before Allies liberated Europe from Germany's savagery.

Every time I feel depressed or at the lowest point in my life, I always think of other people elsewhere in this world who experienced misery, who suffered a lot, who had nothing but oppression in their lives, through this strange recollection, I could appreciate my own life, my own wonderful existence and how lucky I am to live in such a lovely environment, such a comfortable surrounding free from the agonizing circumstances of war, tragedy, disaster and misery. 

Anne Frank was truly an inspiration, though she lived miserably during the terrifying period of World War II, she tried describing the last two years of her life as fulfilling and wonderful counting the lessons life teaches her which made me think that even at the very sad circumstances life never ceases to spread magic and wonders. I closed the book with a smile and read another one, Heroic Leadership by Chris Lowney, a wonderful book about life of Jesuit missionaries and how Loyala’s Society of Jesus inspired others to work on a mission.

After reading books, I went downstairs and had my dinner: hard boiled egg, Whole Wheat bread, one ripe mango and one glass of hot milk. No, I am not undergoing any dieting program, in fact I am not on a strict high protein diet plan ever since, but I’d promise earlier to offer some self-mortification on evening meal since Ash Wednesday.
Whole Wheat bread from Gardenia

I went upstairs after taking my dinner, read notes on my three subjects then listened intently to the splattering of the evening rain….it somehow erases my weariness in life.


Going Home

At the start of Lent Season, I made a promise to practice some exercise of self-mortification, discarding temporarily some sort of luxury and fun. So I started eating simplest meals. During the day, I only resort to plain vegetables, fish, boiled eggs, fresh fruits and oatmeal. At night, I have nothing but Whole Wheat bread, fruits and hot green tea.

In my whole existence, I never put my self in a strict diet, though I ridiculously gained weight in my high school years, except for drinking Kalamansi juice before taking breakfast. 

I never practice any form of dieting solution, so eating simple foods is just a plain routine for me. For the past 10 years, I am eating healthy foods only, no softdrinks, no coffee, no excessive meat intake.

Last night while eating sea foods, I suddenly missed my life in the province, the joy, the laughter, the tranquility of the surroundings, the beautiful scenery at sunset and the magnificent sunrise near the beach. So I decided to come home this April, around Holy Week to be with my family and to breath the fresh air of the countryside.

Deep inside, I know there's something missing, I don't know what it is but beneath my laughter, emptiness yelled me at its loudest form. But I don't want to focus on it, I want to ignore it. I just keep my self busy with my studies and my writings.

I also missed my family and this summer is a perfect time to be with them and to enjoy the calm environment of the sea and the mountain.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Tsunami Scare

Yesterday, March 11, an earthquake with a magnitude of 8.9 shook Japan's premier city, Tokyo, spurring a devastating tsunami of about 10 meters along its coastline areas. According to Reuters, it was the strongest earthquake to hit Japan in 100 years and the 5th recorded deadly earthquake to hit the world since 1948.

Immediately, Philvocs sent a Tsunami alert warning to 19 Philippine provinces situated on the coastal areas of the country. We were also told in the office to go home at 5:00 pm because of the impending disaster. But since I still have a class at 6:00pm I went to Ateneo to ask if there was a message to call off the classes but there was none so I proceeded to the 7th floor for our workshop-seminar.

But I was thinking of my family back home. Since my home province, Surigao del sur, is one of the 19 provinces mentioned by Philvocs, I was worried with how the calamity would affect them. My mother texted me that they were told to evacuate but since it was already evening and the danger of going to the mountain is more real, they stayed behind, besides the Pacific Ocean (which we can directly see from our house) remains calm all through out.

Haaay, Thank God everything settled that night and Tsunami did not ravage the Philippine shore.
 The beach line near our house facing the mighty Pacific Ocean.

I am used into this scenario, when I was still growing up in Surigao del sur, I experienced almost all kinds of disaster most people did not experience. Typhoon is the most common one, in my grade school years I witnessed some of the strongest typhoons hitting our place where houses collapsed. We would often went downstairs and go to the safest area of the house because the ancestral home of my grandparents was directly facing the sea so the the wind sometimes slammed aggressively on top of the roof. Then there were several tidal waves that followed, bellowing waves measuring 4 feet high, but these scenes never scare us then, in fact we were delighted to see those dancing waves rushing to the shore, watching big waves from the Pacific Ocean running through the road near the neighborhood made us feel ecstatic. It was a wonderful sight, we were happy to see those waves. It's only now that the scene scares me because of the dreadful effect of tsunami.
We used to frolic around the shoreline near our home. In this photo with my brother and cousin, we were walking along the beach one December afternoon to feel the soothing air coming from the Pacific Ocean.

Then there were several scary earthquakes, but we never think about tsunami because back then the only words we know following typhoons and strong earthquakes are Tidal Waves. During those years, people in Surigao were not really bothered about the danger of tsunami since we'd no direct access to the media, no news or whatever since we still had no electricity during those times, so we just treated tsunami as part of urban tales. Everyday I would marvel at the picturesque mountains and the beautiful relaxing scenery of the Pacific Ocean with happiness and tranquility because I always believe they are not dangerous.

Now nothing has change with my belief, I am very confident God protects. He will never forsake us. Back home, there were countless times that we were saved from disasters because of intense prayers. We would do "aurora" a form of early morning prayers conducted through a procession around the place participated by almost all people, we would recite prayers and would march along the shorelines. We should trust God, He is more powerful than those natural disasters, it is through prayers that we can find peace of mind.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Intelligent Investing: Warren Buffet's way

America's legendary investor, Warren Buffet, building his fortune through intelligent investing


There is no other personality to think about other than Warren Buffet, the world's richest man in 2007 and now the world's third richest, when it comes to intelligent investing. For one, he is considered by expert as America's most brilliant investor in history, his unique skills in managing investment coupled with his legendary frugality made him rose to greatness in the field of business.

Warren Buffet finished BS in Economics and after hearing that Benjamin Graham, the author of The Intelligent Investor book, teaches at Columbia Business School, he traveled from Omaha, Nebraska to New York to enroll at Columbia where he obtained his MS Economics degree in 1952. He went back to Nebraska and started working as a stockbroker and later on founded his own business using his own knowledge on intelligent investing buying and selling stocks until he acquired a struggling textile manufacturing firm, Berkshire Hathaway, which he turned into a very profitable business venture and became known to the world as the largest investment company, it became the flagship of his business empire.

So can we learn something from Mr. Buffet? author Matthew Schifrin posed a question in Forbes magazine "Will the Web produce the next Warren Buffet?" and wrote several best stocks ideas in his book The Warren Buffets Next Door. The book revealed some stories on the world's greatest investors and the things we can learn from these people's successful business stories. 

According to Matthew Schifrin: "The only real requirement for becoming a good investor is committing the time. Invest in yourself--tap your inner Buffett. More than ever, it's possible to achieve superior investment returns and meet your financial goals" (from his column in Forbes Magazine)