PRAXIS Board Game: Take Control of Your Finances

Sun Life Financial is the first company that introduced a board game to the country last 2015 which teach its players to manage their finances in a fun and interactive way. The PRAXIS board game was originally developed from Singapore, played by 4-5 people wherein they get to experience budgeting and saving and some complex ideas such as retirement planning, protection planning, investing in the stock market, and buying real property. What makes it more exciting is there’s a real-life simulation of events that may happen or is happening in the country right now – like job loss, job promotions, illness, etc.

 

As a player, your objective while playing this game aside from learning how to manage your finances, it’s to be the wealthiest player at the end of the game.

 

 

HOW’S MY EXPERIENCE PLAYING THIS GAME?

 

First off, all players were given the same job role as an Executive Professional earning $2,500  and $2,500 cash. You’ll roll the dice and each step you’ll be given the chance to do it or not (e.g. shift career/savings/buying a property/investing in stocks/buying retirement and protection plan), rewards (employee of the month, year-end bonus), and some events wherein you don’t have an option but to pay (real property damage fee,income tax, vacation leave, etc.). And every time you finished a cycle you’ll earn your wage and pay for your rent (if you didn’t buy a property). For example, if you’re still an executive you’ll earn $2,500 play money. If you got promoted before the end of a cycle you’re wage increase and if you became a business man earning $12,000; once you passed a cycle you’ll be given $12,000 play money less rental fee of $500. During the game, there will be some announcements coming from the game master which may be a good news or a bad news and this is where it becomes more exciting.

 

At the first round of the game, I gain quite some play money for I landed on the year-end bonus and best employee of the month and was given the chance to choose another profession. Blessedly, I become a businesswoman (in the 1st round of the game) with $12,000 wage per business cycle. I grabbed the opportunity but I become mindful of the income tax because one of the players on our group who’s profession is a lawyer, landed to pay income tax. I checked mine and it’s quite more than what she paid. If I got the chance to land again in changing profession I’ll choose on the public sector. I landed multiple times on investing at the stock market but still closed on the first round. Also, I landed going to a vacation which I’m obliged to pay $250 play money which lessens my play money on hand. How I wish I got to save more and buy more retirement and protection plan.

 

The second round of the game is quite a thrill, this is where the game master has a lot of announcements and where we change the economy cycle from BOOM to RECESSION to SLUMP. So that’s where others got unemployed, got sick and have to pay for hospital bills and increased electricity, and a lot more. Good thing I have 1 protection plan  which I was able to use in the game when everyone got sick. This is also where I’ve got a lot of chance to invest in the stock market but I only buy minimal shares every time I landed on it. And where I got a chance to change profession. From businessman earning $12,000 play money, I got to be a minister earning $10,000 play money.

 

At the end of the game, I’m second to the wealthiest player. My assets accumulated to $42,300 play money. How I wish it’s convertible to REAL money.

 

 

MY INSIGHTS ABOUT THE GAME

 

#1: You don’t have to increase your lifestyle once you earned more money. If you can’t manage the money you’re earning now, how much more if your earnings increase? In the game, I landed multiple times in buying a property. Though I have the means to do so, I declined the offer since renting is cheaper. But in real life it’s

#2: When you were given an opportunity, DO NOT waste it. You’ll have to hold on to it and do the best that you can to keep it. If you really want it and if it’s God’s will for you to have it, work on it so you won’t lose it.

#3: Use PESO-COST AVERAGING method when investing in the stock market. The market is volatile, but the degree of its volatility adjusts over time. The gist of investing in the stock market through Peso-Cost Averaging method is “BUY & HOLD.” It is for the long haul, sell it after 5-10 years when the value already increases.

#4: FIND A FINANCIAL INSTITUTION THAT CAN HELP YOU MAXIMIZE THE VALUE OF YOUR MONEY. Saving in the bank alone will not help you maximize the value of your money. You need to consider other factors such as the inflation rate of the economy. The estimated inflation rate of the country is 3.3% as of May 2017. So, if you save on the bank and it only gives you an annual interest rate of 0.25% – 1.5%, you are getting poorer as time pass by. Why? Prices of food and fuel are increasing and your money is earning less than inflation rate. The catch here, find a financial institution that gives you a higher interest rate for your money. Invest your money in the stock market, mutual funds, UITF, or any income generating instruments that gives higher interest rate than inflation.

(SOURCE: http://www.bworldonline.com/content.php?section=TopStory&title=poll-bares-expectation-of-slower-inflation&id=146196)

#5: BE INSURED. Life is full of uncertainties, all the more you need health and life insurance.

 

WANT TO PLAY PRAXIS BOARD GAME?

This game is absolutely free, as part of Sun Life Fianancial’s advocacy to educate Filipinos in managing their finances to gain financial freedom. There are different types of learning styles, and some might find attending a workshop or seminar quite boring. This game provides an interactive learning because it’s more hands-on, real-world process of relaying information and you’ll get to apply and sharpen your decision-making skills.

We will bring this game to you, if you wanted to play this game together with your friends, co-workers, family/relatives. Minimum participants of the Praxis Board Game is 20 people – 4 people, 5 groups OR 5 people, 4 groups. Just let us know and email us with the title “PRAXIS Board Game Workshop Request.”

CONTACT DETAILS:

Jalene B. delos Santos

09205375516

jalene.b.delossantos@sunlife.com.ph

 

 

Stocks vs. Mutual Funds

If you were to ask me which of these two investment instruments is the best, I’d rather say BOTH are best to have. If you don’t have any investments yet, you need to make a decision now where you should invest first. If you delayed planning where to put your investments, then you’re losing quite a lot of money and opportunity and maybe time to do it.

 

Investing in the stock market means you have to find a stockbroker where you’ll do the buy and sell transactions. This is the direct way of investing in stocks. It’s like you are the driver of a car, you’ll drive toward the place you wanted to go, you’re the one in control. Or imagine it like this, you have a basket and you’re the one who pick high quality eggs (stocks) to put into your basket. Same thing with stock investing, you’re the one who’ll manage on what company/ies you’ll put your money into, and that’s quite risky. The stock market is volatile and is risky, one cannot tell when the market will be up again when it’s down and vice-versa. But one thing’s for sure if you use the PCA (Peso Cost Averaging) method, that is investing for the long term 10+ years, it’s really worth the risk. Just imagine investing in stocks like you’re putting your money on a time deposit but guarantees a higher return than the latter. As they say “no pain, no gain,” waiting is difficult and painful but if you have a financial goal in life just stick to it and focus on that goal.

 

Investing in mutual funds means you have to find a financial institution/s that will help you manage your funds in investing. It’s like you ride a car and the driver (fund manager) is the one who’ll drive you to the place where you wanted to go. Or like this, you bought a basket with high quality eggs (stocks) already. With mutual funds, a fund manager is the one who manages what company/ies he will put your money into. There are various types of fund allocations in mutual funds, some of these are equity (stocks), bond, money market, balanced fund, etc. These corresponds to the type of investor you are. If you are an aggressive investor, go for equity fund; if you are a moderate investor, go for balanced fund; if you’re the conservative type, go for money market fund. Just remember a few points in terms of investing. For aggressive investors this is what they have in mind – the higher the risk, the higher the return. For moderate investors – moderate risk, moderate return. For conservative type of investors, low risk means low return.

 

Set a financial goal for yourself, write it down and make it happen. Set aside a portion of your income for investment and savings (for liquidity purpose).

 

 

Delayed Gratification vs. Instant Gratification

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

Matthew 7: 7-8

It’s no surprise that we live in the age of instant gratification. And technology plays a significant role in it. Everything is just within our reach. People are getting more impatient, selfish, and worldly. There’s no limit in everything we do.

 

Though I was raised to live a moderate life when I was a child, but as I grew up I took the other way around. I took everything life could give since I now have the means to achieve it. The verse above  (Matthew 7:7) becomes like this to me – “Don’t ask for it will not be given to you, so do something; don’t seek for you won’t find it, just find alternatives; don’t knock and wait, just open it.” I become limitless, impatient, selfish, and worldly. I’d been berated by my parents so many times about my need for instant gratification. As willful as I am, I still do what I want, whenever I want. When I want to go somewhere, I wanna go there now! When I want to do something, I wanna do it now! I took life so lightly that everything I’ve been doing has been compromised – works, studies, career and a lot more if I continue living like this. This is a childish way of living.

 

So here I am, thinking about what I’ve been through. I just realize, practicing instant gratification for the past years of my life becomes my lifestyle and in turn made me wasted. Oh yes, we were told to live life to the fullest since we only live once and with that, we have to enjoy it. But we shouldn’t waste it. Practicing delayed gratification is the way to being mindful and valuing everything we do. Hard work should come first before rewarding oneself. Truly, patience is a virtue. It’s kinda difficult for it’s not my nature to wait or be patient. But God is my rock, He will help me (Matthew 7:8).

 

 

Just Keep on Reaching

What is it that God wants you to keep on reaching?

“He filled my life with good things

to make me young and strong

like an eagle.”

Psalm 103:5

A question that baffled me yesterday when I was asked about it. I really don’t know what it is that He wants me to reach out, for I am clueless myself. I realized then that my relationship with the Lord is quite shallow, it’s not stable, it’s on/off whenever I wanted just like how I treat the people around me.

That time I uttered I wanted to have a strong foundation in terms of having a relationship with the Lord for I am tired of what I’ve been doing all this time. I keep on reaching out to Him when I felt sad and lonely but whenever He got too close I backed out, I don’t know why. Then she (Ate Rea, my spiritual leader) asked me, why am I afraid to go deeper? I didn’t answer that much but she somehow understands me and tell me why.

 It was year 2011, when I encounter Jesus in a real and personal way through God’s Words (John 3:16). That’s when I truly understand how very important He is, as if I cannot live without hearing more of His Words. I have lots of questions in life that He can only answer. I seek Him more despite the obstacles around me. For the first time in my life, that’s when I felt so alive. My days become brighter and living the life I once dreaded becomes meaningful. I keep on reaching but when He’s almost close to reaching my heart, I runaway.

I never let anyone got too close but only near for I’ve built up these walls since I was a child. I only share a part of my life to the people around me for they never stayed. I’m ok with having just a few friends or none at all, I’m used to it. And somehow, the way I treat people becomes my response towards God. When it comes to Him, I’m just not sure about it. There are some things in my life I don’t wanted Him to change. Changing it means knocking off the walls I built for all these years. Reaching out to Him, means reaching out to people which I cannot even imagine. Reaching out to Him means going deeper and learning to depend on Him always. Reaching out to Him means sharing my life, what He has done for me. Reaching out to Him means doing things I’ve never done before. Reaching out to Him just means, it’s simply OK and just try. Do it this time and never back out.

 

 

Prayer Declaration: Just keep on reaching.

DIY: The “No-Poo” Challenge (Hair Care Routine)

I came up with an article about how to treat your hair the healthy way. Belive it or not, it’s about shampooing you hair often or not shampooing it at all. This is what they called the “no-poo method,” stripping away or reducing chemicals from your hair. Just because shampooing is the conventional way of cleaning your hair, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the healthy way to treat your hair. I give it a try and until now this is still my hair routine.

 

THE NO-POO METHOD

This is how I do it:

  1. Mixed a teaspoon of baking soda to lukewarm water. Once dissolved water, pour it to your scalp and massage it gently. Wait for 2-3 minutes before rinsing it.
  2. Mixed a bottlecap amount of apple cider vinegar to a lukewarm water. Rinse your hair using this mixture.
  3. Continue rinsing your hair with only water this time.
  4. Use a conditioner on your hair and wait for a minute before rinsing it with water.

 

For better result, I added a twist:

  1. Wait for your hair to dry.
  2.  While waiting, prepare a mixture of essential oils you wanted to use to nurture your hair. I personally use olive oil mixed with castor oil.  Put it on a small container.
  3.  Boil water and pour it to a small bowl.
  4. Put the small container with mixture of essential oils on top of the small bowl with warm water.
  5.  Once oil is heated, gently massage it to your scalp (your hair should alreaady be dry) and leave it overnight for your hair to absorb the nutrients.
  6.  In the morning, wash your air and just use conditioner.
  7.  On the following days, you can just use conditioner on your hair care routine.

 

NOTE: You can do the process stated above, once or twice a week only. But if you still cannot completely get rid of the shampoo, try to reduce the use of it. Try to shampoo your hair once a week until shampoo is no longer part of your hair care routine.

 

THE RESULT

After trying this hair routine, my hair is simply soft and well-hydrated.

 

 

 

 

Masasa Beach: 1000 PHP Budget Travel

God’s amazing works are meant to be adored and respected, it shouldn’t be vandalized. Kindly observe the “Leave No Trace Principle.”

 

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Masasa Beach of Tingloy Batangas is indeed a quick getaway from the Metro. Aside from the stunning views it offer, the ocean of Masasa and the nearby islands are rich in marine biodiversity. During our boat ride going to Masasa, we saw a group of dolphins jumping out of the water for a quick moment. When we’re finally at the beach, we stroll around the rocky part of the beach or the sea urchins’ territory, it was low tide that time, there’s a lot of little sea creatures. Going back to Anilao pier, we saw a group of flying fish.

 

Though it’s quite crowded on weekends, I still quite enjoyed our stay there because of its beauty and truly rich marine biodiversity (hope it won’t be spoiled), the food we cooked on our own, and most of all the friendly and caring locals who live there.

 

HOW TO GET THERE?

You can ride a bus from Jam Liner Bus station, near Cubao, bound to Batangas Terminal. Once in Batangas Terminal, ride a jeep bound to Anilao Pier. Once at the Anilao Pier, ride a boat bound to Tingloy.

GETTING AROUND MASASA BEACH

There’s a few activities you can do when in Masasa Beach. In the morning, you can do an early trek at Mag-Asawang Bato. Then you can roam around the beach, do snorkelling,and even island hopping for only 150 PHP for a group of 10 people. That’s all I can say, I don’t wanted to spoil you with what I’ve seen and experienced there. Better see it for yourself.

 

WHERE TO STAY?

You can actually bring your own tent to sleep in. The good thing about Masasa beach are its residents, they’re very friendly and accommodating. During our stay there, they are the ones who help us set up our tent and even guard our tents and belongings while we snorkel. They’re not even asking anything in return.

 

But there are some residents there who’s willing to provide their house for accommodation if you’re not into the backpacking style of pitching a tent to sleep in.

 

REMINDERS

  • There are schedules of boat rides to Tingloy. First trip starts at 9 am. So as much as possible, make an early trip to Batangas so you won’t end up renting a private boat.
  • Be polite with the locals.They’re friendly and very accommodating to your needs without even asking anything in return. One of the best places I’d been to because of the people.
  • Be a responsible person. Don’t throw your garbage just anywhere. As always, practice the “LNT principle.”
  • During our stay at Masasa Beach, there’s only one washroom in the area. Using the toilet costs 10 PHP and taking a showercosts 20 PHP. But there’s a well near the area where we washed up for FREE (as what I’ve mentioned the people are so kind there) and where we got our drinking water as well (and YES it’s clean!).

 

CONTACT PERSON

Joan Manungsong – 09121746992

Just in case she asked you where you get the number, let her know that it’s from the girl,from a group who suddenly wanted to ride the first boat trip going to Anilao Pier, who they helped with disassembling the tent and who wanted to go back again by herself.

 

BUDGET BREAKDOWN

Cubao to Batangas roundtrip fare (165 x 2) = 330 PHP
Jeep to Anilao Pier (37 x 2) = 74 PHP
Boat to tingloy (80 x 2) = 160 PHP
*Trike to Masasa Beach (15 x 2) = 30 PHP
Registration fee = 30 PHP

Snorkelling for 1 hour = 100 PHP

*FOOD budget= 200+ PHP

GRAND TOTAL: 1000 PHP

 

*1 tricycle’s fare rate is 60 PHP divided to 4 pax

*Food contribution depends on the number of pax of a group

Coron, Palawan Travel Guide for Solo Traveler (4D/3N)

Coron comprises the eastern half of Busuanga Island which is surrounded by the South China Sea and Sulu Sea. It is a must-see destination in the Philippines. Coron is surrounded by pristine beaches and crystal clear waters with rich biodiversity. Truly, it is beautiful underwater and beyond!

 

HOW DID I GO THERE?

I booked the ticket to Coron in Cebu Pacific back in January 3, 2016 with a travel period for November 8-11, 2016. At first, I wanted to book it for one week because there’s a lot of places you can visit when in Coron according to my research. But since I’ll be on my own I played it safe (which I regret later).

 

All flights land at Francisco B. Reyes airport, formerly Busuanga Airport. To get to Coron town, you can take a van which cost PHP 150.

 

GETTING AROUND IN CORON

It’s easy to get around Coron town proper. You can walk or ride a tricycle to get around town and it only cost PHP 10. Tricycle is the main vehicle in Coron but you can also rent a motorcycle if you want to explore more of Coron.

 

Flight was delayed which is quite frustrating because I have a scheduled tour in Coron town proper which starts at 3PM. But, it turns out to be a blessing in disguise. My town tour was cancelled, which is a good thing for I came to know that Coron is a small town and all the places included in the itinerary can be done DIY and you’ll save more. So that’s my first tip for you, if you’re on a budget. You don’t necessarily need a guide to get around town.

 

As for Coron Tour, you can booked it in advance or once there at your accommodation. There’s no difference since they offer a standard rate whether you’re on your own or with your friends. But if you want a private tour with your friends, you can hire a boatman to tour you around the islands.

 

WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN CORON

You don’t really need itinerary, especially if you’ll book a tour package.

 

02

The Kayangan Lake, dubbed as the “cleanest lake” in the Philippines, one of the destinations for Tour A

 

 

03

The famous twin lagoon of Coron (one of the destinations for tour B)

 

CORON TOWN TOUR

Coron town tour can be done in a day or half day depending on your pace.

Lualhati Park

Address: Near the Sea Port

Entrance Fee: None

 

Mt. Tapyas

04

Don’t miss the sunset viewing at the summit of Mt. tapyas

Address: Poblacion, Coron, Palawan

Entrance Fee: None

 

Maquinit Hotspring

Address: Address: Sitio Maquinit, Barangay Tagumpay, Coron, Palawan

Entrance Fee: PHP 150.00

 

Cashew Nut Factory

Address: Barangay Tagumpay, Coron Town, Palawan

 

Souvenir Shop

Address: Brgy. Polacion 5, Coron, Palawan

 

01

Souvenirs bought in Coron, Palawan

 

CONTACTS

For Coron Island tour, you can book a tour package or a private tour.

JY TRAVEL AND TOURS:

  • Contact: +63917-569-6755 / +63920-553-1710
  • Email: travelandtoursjy@yahoo.com / yong_cj@yahoo.com

CALAMIANES EXPEDITIONS:

 

  • Contact: +63919-992-6766 / +63917-552-6766
  • Email: corongaleri@yahoo.com

 

 

BUDGET

 

Accommodation with Tour A and Tour B w/ Lunch: 2900 php

Airport Roundtrip Transfer: 300 php

Fare Expenses: 220 php

Food: 400 php

Souvenirs: 1295 php

Entrance fee to Maquinit Hotspring: 200 php

Rountrip flight ticket: 1100 php

TOTAL BUDGET: 6415 php