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).

 

 

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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.

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.

 

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

 

 

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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

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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

 

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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

 

 

 

DIY-ing Bangkok, Thailand

By Jalene B.D.S.

 

It was a rush decision because of the seat-sale promo and another thing I have a friend there whom I wanted to meet in person. Supposedly, I’ll do the trip alone  but my father saw me booking a ticket and will not allow me to go if I’m by myself. So, Papa and I went to explore Thailand.

 

I did some research a few days prior to our flight. It’s a nerve-racking experience for I bravely took responsibility of the tour and said that we don’t need to get a travel package (though I have limited time for I have to work and study). I came up with this itinerary:

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Ideal Itinerary (Thailand)

Realistically, we weren’t able to go to all those places listed. This is how we spent our 5 days/4 nights stay in Thailand, instead.

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NOTE: I have a separate post about Assumption Cathedral, Lumphini Park, Grand Palace, Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall, Suan Pakkad Palace, and Bangkok Arts and Culture Centre.

 

DAY 1: We arrived at Suvarnabhumi Airport around 9 am. And took the Airport Rail Link going to Ratchaprarop Station. Our accommodation is around Pratunam area, near the Palladium Mall. We met my friend Rajit at the Platinum Mall. I’m very grateful to her, we were able to explore Bangkok the following days because she gave me tips and info on how to get around the city without being scammed.

 

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Wat Pathum Wanaram

 

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People praying at the altar of Buddha and its Saints

 

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View of Erawan Shrine from Bangkok’s Skywalk

 

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At the Central World Plaza

 

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Trimurti Shrine (left), where people pray for love. Ganesha Shrine (right), where people pray for success.

 

If I were to describe our first day in Bangkok, it’s a “Mall & Shrine tour.”

 

DAY 2: Papa and I went to Assumption Cathedral in the morning. Before we get to the Assumption Cathedral, I got a glimpse of Sathorn Unique Tower from Saphan Taksin Station. It was left unfinished due to the 1997 Asian financial crisis as what I’ve read from the previous research I got. I really wanted to go inside but my father stopped me from doing that because there’s no one around. Then I read a few articles about it and I find out that entry to the building is prohibited for your own safety. Though it’s prohibited, it became a popular destination for urban explorers. Moving forward, we spent the afternoon walking around Lumphini Park.

 

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Sathorn Unique Tower, aka as the Ghost tower, is a 49-storey building left unfinished is situated in Bangkok City.

HOW TO GET THERE:

BTS – From Siam Station, drop off at Saphan Taksin station. It’s just across the street.

 

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Assumption Cathedral

HOW TO GET THERE:

BTS – From Siam Station, drop off at Saphan Taksin station. Then, you can ride the river boat epress from Sathorn Pier to Oriental Pier. Or you can just take a walk from Saphan Taksin Station. Just turn left and walk straight. Once you reached 40 Charoen Krung, turn left and you’ll see the Cathedral on the left side.

 

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My father, walking towards the entrance of Lumphini Park

HOW TO GET THERE:

BTS – From Saphan Taksin Station, drop off at Sala Daeng station.

 

DAY 3: It wouldn’t be complete without going to Thailand’s Grand Palace. It’s packed with tourist everyday, it’s quite difficult to take a picture perfect view. So I just roam around amazed by how detailed and majestic the structures are.

 

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The demon warrior at the Grand Palace

HOW TO GET THERE:

BTS – From Siam Station, drop off at Saphan Taksin station. Then, from Sathorn Pier/Oriental Pier, ride the Chao Phraya river boat express and drop off at Tha Chang Pier. Walk across the street and you’ll see the white walls. Follow the crowds to the entrance.

 

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Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall

HOW TO GET THERE:

From Tha Chang Pier, ride the Chao Phraya river boat express and drop off at Thewej Pier. We just walked going to Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall. From Thewej Pier, we walked straight ’till we reached 2 stoplights then we turned left.

Or, if you don’t wanted to walk, just ride a tuk tuk to get to Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall.

 

DAY 4: We’re supposed to be going to Ayutthaya, the ancient city. But due to inclement weather, we decided to just roam around the area. We went to Suan Pakkad Palace, where we met fellow citizens (kabayan) from Davao. In the afternoon, we visited Bangkok Arts and Culture Centre.

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Suan Pakkad Palace Museum

 

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Bangkok Art and Culture Centre

 

HOW TO GET THERE:

Suan Pakkad Palace & Bangkok Arts and Culture Centre. It’s just a walking distance from the place where we stayed.

 

 

DAY 5: On  our way home, I thank God we met fellow travelers from our country as well. Papa will now allow me to explore as far as I can as long as I have companion/s and they will be.

 

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Future travel mates

 

FOODIES

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TIPS TO SURVIVE IN THAILAND

  • At first, I’m quite nervous to explore Bangkok. I noticed that most Thai’s don’t speak that much in English. So you have to find ways for them to understand you. Whenever we asked for direction I just show the name of the place we’re going to. Just be direct to the point, no need to ask in complete sentences.
  • When shopping, they usually give discount for a minimum purchase of 3 quantities per item. Try to haggle down the price.
  • Thailand, just like Philippines, has the world’s worst traffic as well. To save something on your budget when getting around the city, utilize Bangkok’s BTS Skytrain, take a bus, or ride on Chao Phraya River express boat. You can also hire a taxi or a tuk tuk to get around Bangkok. If you’re going to ride a taxi, asks for the meter to be turned on. If you’re going to ride a tuk tuk, negotiationg and haggling the fare rate is a must because they usually charged an inflated rate especially if you’re a tourist.
  • Try the local foods.

 

Aside from the souvenirs/pasalubong, I ended up buying some stuff there.

 

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Embroidered coin purses made in Thailand

 

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Dried kiwi & Sampaloc

 

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Bags & Wardrobes

 

BUDGET BREAKDOWN

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If ₱1 = ฿1.50, we only spent ₱6,867.00 for our 4D/3N stay in Thailand.

NOTE: Fare and Travel tax is not included. But terminal fee is already included on the plane ticket I booked.

Fare for 2 pax costs ₱3,744.20

Travel tax for 2 pax costs ₱3,240.00

The Grand Palace (Thailand)

By Jalene B.D.S.

 

The Grand Palace is a complex structure at the Capital city of Thailand. Aside from being the official residence of the Kings of Thailand, it also houses some temples.

 

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The white walls of the Grand Palace

 

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The demon warrior at the Grand Palace

 

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The Gallery and Ramakien Story (Thai version of Ramayana)

 

 

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Chakri Maha Prasat in the Grand Palace

 

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Phra Siratana Chedi

 

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The chinese statue of the Grand Palace

 

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Model of Angkor Wat

 

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Entrance ticket costs 500 baht per pax

 

NOTE: Keep your ticket at Grand Palace. You can also use it for another tourist attraction which is Vimanmek Palace. When we got there, Vimanmek is closed for public viewing but they swap it for an entrance to Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall. Another great structure to behold!

 

HOW TO GET THERE:

BTS – From Siam Station, drop off at Saphan Taksin station. Fare costs 34 baht per pax.

Then, from Sathorn Pier/Oriental Pier, ride the Chao Phraya river boat express and drop off at Tha Chang Pier. Fare costs 14 baht per pax.

Walk across the street and you’ll see the white walls. Follow the crowds to the entrance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall (Thailand)

By Jalene B.D.S.

 

The Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall (Thai: พระที่นั่งอนันตสมาคม Phra Thinang Anantasamakhom) is a royal reception hall within Dusit Palace in Bangkok, Thailand.

 

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The Equestrian Statue of King Chulalongkorn Rama V situated at the center of the Royal Plaza

 

The Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall  was commissioned by King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) in 1908. The building was completed in 1915, 5 years after Rama V’s death in 1910. It now serves as a museum and is from time to time employed for certain state occasions.

 

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Front gate of Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall

 

The hall is open to the public every day except on Chulalongkorn Day (23 October), the King’s birthday (5 December) and the Queen’s birthday (12 August).

 

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The Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall

 

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The owner of the cafe whom we asked for directions to go to Vimanmek Mansion

 

Originally, we’re bound to Vimanmek Mansion, since the ticket given at the Grand Palace is also applicable there. But Vimanmek Mansion was closed that time, so we were directed to Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall. They exchange the ticket for us to be able to use it for entrance at Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall.

 

TAKE NOTE: Appropriate dress code is necessary, this means sleeved shirts (including short-sleeved ones) and trousers for men or long skirts for women.

 

Good thing I brought a white shawl which they allow for me to use. the staff there is very kind to assist me to turn it into a skirt.

 

HOW TO GET THERE:

From Tha Chang Pier, ride the Chao Phraya river boat express and drop off at Thewej Pier. We just walked going to Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall. From Thewej Pier, we walked straight ’till we reached 2 stoplights then we turned left.

Or, if you don’t wanted to walk, just ride a tuk tuk to get to Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall.

 

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Large fishes at Thewej Station

 

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Feeds for the fishes at Thewej Station