An Overview About Investing (for Newbies)

By Jalene B. D. S.

 

My first investment was in the stock market. I’ve heard about it since I was in high school and was curious to know how it works and how to invest. Guess, I was overwhelmed by the numbers and figures I saw on TV so I didn’t dig deeper about the concept of the stock market back then.

 

But one day (I’m a working professional already), I’ve heard that a church mate of mine works at a stockbroker company in the country. You cannot quench my curiosity, so I asked her about the concept of the stock market since she’s a client of it as well. She advised me to attend seminars held by their company and take note it’s for free. I grabbed the opportunity to learn more about it. There’s quite a few seminars they provide and each seminar you’ll attend to is worth your  time and very applicable towards your journey into the real world.

 

The most common technique (well-proven) that they recommend for beginners to use is the “Peso Cost Averaging” method, wherein you’ll invest a portion of your income (I recommend 20% of your income) or set a  fixed amount you’re willing to invest regularly (whether monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, annually) without fail over a long period of time. Usually, the maturity period of investing in equities or the stock market is 10 years or more. Consider it as your retirement fund or your future fund for whatever gaoals you have in the future.

 

And that’s how it all started. Once you started investing, it will become a habit and you’ll look for other investments you can put your money into. That’s what you called “diversifying your portfolio,” to minimize the risk while pursuing your financial goals in life.

 

Open an account one at a time. Aim for this 3 investment tools: Stock market, mutual funds, and UITF. Once you started investing, you need protection for your other investments that’s why a Life insurance is a must though some people think negatively about getting a life insurance but the truth is, we need it.

 

There’s VUL products available in the market now if you don’t want to get a pure insurance. If you’re a beginner and has limited resources, it’s a perfect investment tool, since it’s a life insurance with investment component. It uses the same method used the stock market to grow your money.

 

We’re blessed that we live in this generation where even ordinary people can invest their hard-earned money so they’ll have future fund to whatever goal they have in life.

 

 

 

 

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

Why, God?

“It is necessary to pass through many troubles on our way into the kingdom of God.”

ACTS 14:22

I remembered the story of Job. He was blameless, righteous, and a holy man before God. But he was not exempted from sufferings.

And so was Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who suffered on earth for our salvation. He was sacrificed to mend the bond of God with humanity. Jesus is the Son of god, our Lord and Saviour, was not exempted from sufferings but He won it. Our world was designed by God with complexities and imperfections, where both good and evil exist. It is necessary for us to experience it on our journey towards His kingdom which is perfect and holy. And, where suffering and iniquities no longer exist.

BUNTOT PALOS FALLS: Exploring Hidden Falls of Laguna (Part 2)

By Jalene B.D.S.

 

Buntot Palos is one of the grandest falls of Laguna towering 80 meters tall. The duration of the trail going to Buntot palos falls takes 1.5 – 2 hours only. You can start the trail either at Pangil, Ecopark or at Balian Outpost.

 

Robin, a college friend of mine, is a resident of Pangil, Laguna. He invited us (my brothers and I) to go to their place and visit Buntot Palos Falls. We stayed at their house and ate a light breakfast.

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Breakfast at the Talavera’s House

 

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The Talavera’s House

 

We started our trek at Pangil, Laguna with his father as our guide.

 

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We started our trek quarter to 11 in a cloudy morning

 

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My little brother and Robin’s Father who guided us

 

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The water source

 

It took us 1 hour and 20 minutes to reach Buntot Palos Falls. According to his father, the place is usually crowded on Saturdays or Sundays. But on our visit, we’re blessed because there’s few visitors of this majestic falls and most of them are the locals.

 

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Buntot Palos falls is quite gigantic

 

 

 

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Robin’s cliff dive moment at Buntot Palos Falls

 

 

TIP: If you wanted to monopolize the place, go there early. Start the trek at 8am so you’ll have more time to appreciate the beauty of the place.

 

ITINERARY

05:00 – Assembly at Raymond Bus terminal

05:30 – ETD to Buntot Palos

08:00 – ETA to jump-off

08:30 – Start trek (2 hours)

10:30 – ETA to Buntot Palos Swim swim swim

11:00 – Lunch

13:00 – ETD from Buntot Palos

14:40 – ETA to jump-off / Wash up

15:40 – ETD from Pangil, Laguna

18:40 – ETA to Manila

 

HOW TO GET THERE

  • via Bus. Take a bus at Raymond’s Bus terminal at Legarda. Get off at Famy, Laguna.  (Take note: As for our case, we waited for the bus at the Robinson’s Galleria. Bus fare for ordinary bus is 90 PHP )
  • Ride a trike/hire a trike going to the registration area (Balian outpost) where you can hire a guide.  (Take note: For your safety, hire a tour guide.)

 

BUDGET

Bus Fare = 120 PHP

Trike fare = 100 PHP (max.of 4 pax)

Tour guide fee = 300 PHP (max. of 4 pax)

Registration fee = 25 PHP

 

Curious George

By Jalene B.D.S.

 

The initial assignment given by a professor on my major subject in the graduate school was about making a presentation about “Curious George.” It’s a nostalgic feeling for I’ve watched this movie when I was in high school and I like it.  The story is simple but there’s more to it than you can imagine if you just open your mind. (SPOILER ALERT: It’s just about the curious monkey and his adventures in the city with “the man in the yellow hat.” In order to save the museum, the monkey was able to help the man find what he’s looking for – the 40 feet tall idol of the Zagawa Shrine, to be displayed on the museum where “the man with the yellow hat” is working for. )

 

WHO IS CURIOUS GEORGE?

 

George is a little brown monkey with inquisitive eyes that is always ready in seeking adventures. He lives in the forest of Africa along with the other animals. George isn’t living with his parents but he’s still an optimistic and cheerful little monkey. But one thing that describes him well is that he’s a passionately curious creature. His curiosity knows no boundaries.

 

His curiosity leads him to the “man with the yellow hat” and he experience more adventures upon entering the city. In the film adaptation, he was named George by the “man with the yellow hat” when the children at the park insisted him to give the monkey a name. The man with the yellow hat saw the statue of George Washington and that’s where he got his name.

 

George’s curiosity often brought him into troubles but he never stop. He learns from both experiences (good or bad) and move forward. His curiosity leads him to great opportunities for learning and adventures in life.

 

 

WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM CURIOUS GEORGE

 

  • Curiosity is the catalyst of real learning. When we’re eager to learn something it makes us move towards the answer. We doesn’t necessarily relies on what has been told to us or what we read in the books, there’s an action involved. It leads us the way and along the process we came to find interesting things to do that will give us insights which we’ll remember as long as we live.

 

  • Curiosity is both fun and oftentimes brings trouble. Curiosity can give us good and bad experiences. But the most important thing is, we should enjoy the learning process and if it gave us trouble/problem we should learn from it and do the right thing.

    

  • Curiosity is the key to creativity. Curiosity and creativity are interrelated. Creativity is born out of curiosity.

 

  • The world is our school.  We can learn anything, anywhere we go. Learning doesn’t stop in the classroom, it’s a continuous process. And the best way to learn is to experience it.

 

  • Never Stop Exploring. Life would be boring if we limit ourselves from learning. Everyday is an opportunity to learn something new.