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Jared Singer – “Love” (CUPSI 2014)

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Love is knowing that sometimes your words will never be enough, that your heartbeat will never be enough. Love is knowing that sometime you’re going to have to rely on someone else’s beat to make your story work.

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DAY 23: Lost in Ortigas

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With only a few hours of sleep, I went to Ortigas the following day to open an account with an online broker. They are called COL Financial and you can open an account with them for as low as 5,000 pesos. I have been reading and researching about the stock market for years but never had the time to actually dive into trading. Like many others, I was afraid of the stock market because of some stories I heard about people losing money in the stock market. However, after talking to my friends during our Tagaytay trip, I found out that my best friend Ruby is actually investing her money in the stock market. Ruby and Kristine are very knowledgeable about the stock market because Ruby is an accountant and once worked in a bank, and there’s Kristine- a cum laude graduate of Polytechnic University of the Philippines with a degree in Economics. So, Estella and I were very eager to learn more about investing in the stock market and decided to open an account with COL financial. But when I decided to go to COL’s office, Estella couldn’t make it because of her job. So, i went alone and got lost, LOL.

Source : kmcmaggroup.com

Source : kmcmaggroup.com

My friends gave me a brief instruction how to go there and it sounded so simple. Plus the fact that I’ve been to the PSE tower once with my sister made me so sure that I can easily find it again. Unfortunately, the lack of sleep and being out of the country for almost 3 years got me confused and I eventually got lost. I couldn’t find a jeep that should bring me to PSE. Since I thought I was still too early (because Ruby told me that the office opens at 9AM), I decided to walk and try to find the building. I got there eventually, after 30 minutes or so of walking, LOL. I probably looked like a sweaty zombie when the lady at the COL Financial office assisted me but she took my forms with a smile and finished my application in less than 20 minutes.

Before we left Ruby’s house she gave me two books about financial literacy both written by Filipino authors and I absolutely loved them! I finished reading the books in one day. I’ll try to share more about these books later. =)

My application was approved in less than a day but it  took at least three days to access my online account. I wasn’t in a hurry to start buying stocks because I was still on vacation. We were in Hongkong when I received my user ID and password for my online account. Anyhow, I was very happy that I finally have an account. This way, my money can start working for me (once I start investing and trading) and beat inflation.

If you are interested in opening an account with COL Financial, you can check out the requirements here. COL also offers free seminars in their office. I wasn’t able to attend one since I was very busy while i was in the Philippines but I heard that they provide information regarding investing, trading strategies, and financial literacy in general.

Laters!

Novel

DAY 22: The Gathering of the Olympians

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olump

@KFC!!! Left to right: Ruby, Dale, Aldrin, Leyna, me, and Majid. Photo credit: Jessica Castro.

I pretty much stayed home all day and spent some quality time with my family. In the afternoon though, I went to Cubao, Quezon City to meet up with my high school friends. My best friend Ruby offerred her house for me to stay over night so that I can hang out with our friends without worrying about the time and the travel. I was so excited to see them because its been a while since we had a get-together.

When we were in high school, there are cliques in our class and our small group are the geeky ones. We loved to read and during that time, we all loved Edith Hamilton’s mythology book.

With Leyna @ Gong Cha, Shopwise Cubao. Photo credits: Jessica Castro.

With Leyna @ Gong Cha, Shopwise Cubao. Photo credit: Jessica Castro.

When I arrived in our meeting area, none of my friends were there! Even all this time, none of them arrived on time. I guess some things never change. Aldrin, whose now an engineer, arrived a few minutes later. We waited for almost half an hour for Jessica to arrive, she is now a teacher. When Jessica arrived, Aldrin had to leave because his church have a mid-week service but he promised to come back later. The next person who arrived was Leyna, she’s a writer. We went to Gong Cha (Shopwise, Araneta) to have some tea while waiting for the others to arrive. I recounted our adventure in Tagaytay because Jessica and Leyna didn’t make it. I think Jessica had to attend her Master’s class at Ateneo University and Leyna (who is now a Master’s Degree holder from UP, congrats Ley!) had an event that day. Ruby, my best friend and Dale, her boyfriend, arrived next. Ruby is a CPA and Dale is also an engineer. Since our table at Gong Cha is quite crampy, we decided to move to Seafood Island for our dinner. We ordered a Boodle Feast and tried to catch up while waiting for our food. Majid arrived later, he’s a nurse like me. Kristine had to cancel on us at the last minute because she have a meeting at work. She’s one of the most workaholic people I’ve known, come to think of it, she even brought some work with her when we were in Tagaytay! No wonder she got promoted as an assistant manager for one of the leading banks in the country. Our friend Meryl is living in Mindoro that’s why she couldn’t make it. She’a nurse like me and Maj. Claire doesn’t talk to us much, now that she has a family of her own. Clarence on the other hand left for New Zealand last May, he’s also a nurse by the way. Aldrin arrived much later, but at least he kept his word. =)

olump3

The Olympians @ Sea Food Island! From left to right: Ruby, Jessica, Majid, Leyna, me, and Aldrin. Photo credit: Dale Frias.

It was really late and it looked like the restaurant is about to close so, we moved to KFC which is open for 24 hours. We ate and talked non stop until almost 2 in the morning. It was crazy. I wish we had more time to catch up, but all of them have to go to work the next day so, we parted our ways and went home. Well, I stayed at Ruby’s house which is like my second home in Project 4 because I used to stay in their house since we were kids.

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The “love birds” Dale and Ruby. Photo credit: Leyna Perez.

It was a great albeit short get-together. Leyna has the best travel stories and we enjoyed making fun of the love birds. We constantly asked Ruby and Dale when they are going to get married. I didn’t have exciting stories like they have but it was really fun seeing them again. I am so proud to call these people as my friends. When we were in high school, some of us were bullied, some unnoticed, but look at what we’ve become, were now matured and professionals. I wish everyone success in their chosen fields and I’ll definitely miss these guys!

The Olympians. Photo credit: Leyna Perez.

The Olympians. Photo credit: Leyna Perez.

If you noticed, there are four of us who are nurses and I’m thankful that we all have jobs. When we were in fourth year high school, it seems like everyone from our batch wanted to be a nurse! That was 2004, when the demand for nurses abroad was so high they even hire nurses that doesn’t have an experience. Four years later, the demand is still high but we can’t seem to find a local job. The process to be employed locally or abroad has changed and they now require an experience. It wasn’t a problem for us nurses to work for free so that we can gain the experience needed to get the job we wanted. However, as more nurses graduate, the system got worse. They are now requiring these volunteer nurses to pay the hospitals for what they call as “training fee”, and they say that’s it’s the only way for you to get a chance to work for the hospital (unless you’re a relative or friends with the important and powerful people from the hospital admin or something). It was horrible for parents and for the degree holders because the college tuition and the expenses for you to finish nursing school is already too much and now they couldn’t even find a decent job. Most of the nursing graduates nowadays either do the false volunteerism or ends up in a BPO industry as a call center agent (which is not so bad, because their salary is probably 3x higher than a regular nurse in the hospital).

nurses4change

I find the situation among nurses in the Philippines so horrible that’s why I’m incredibly grateful to the people who started the Nurses4Change movement. I fully support their cause and if you do too, please sign the petition here: http://nurses4changemovement.org/.

Thank you so much for reading and if you signed the petition, please accept my deepest gratitude.

Have a great day ahead!

Novel

DAY 21: Family Dinner at Mang Inasal

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With my family.

After 10 days of continuous travel, I was finally home. However, as soon as I woke up, my mother reminded me to visit the dentist. Since I will be busy on the next few days (again), I agreed to go. Unfortunately, all four dental clinics that we visited were close! I have no clue why, maybe the dentists have jobs somewhere else? This is in Rodriguez Rizal area. So, we decided to go to Cubao instead where there are lots of dental clinics that are open. After the dental stuff, we then went to Puregold Cubao to have dinner. We were going to meet my cousin Ate Lorna Fe, whom I haven’t seen in ages! My mom sent her a message earlier so that we can meet up at Puregold.

Me and my sister at Mang Inasal.

Me and my sister at Mang Inasal.

We chose to dine at Mang Inasal because of their unlimited rice. It was already late and we were quite hungry. As expected, the Chicken Inasal was a huge hit.

My parents. =)

My parents. =)

When my cousin arrived, I ordered food for her and we started catching up. We used to be neighbors but when I left the country in 2011, my parents moved to Rizal. So, I haven’t heard much from them since then. It was really fun seeing her again, my only regret was that I wasn’t able to visit their house in Bulacan to see my niece and nephew. Maybe I’ll do that on my next vacation, hopefully on 2015! =)

From left to right: Me, my cousin Lorna Fe, and my sister Melissa.

From left to right: Me, my cousin Lorna Fe, and my sister Melissa.

BTW, I made a video of our trip to La Union and Pangasinan. My sister asked me to do it, so here it goes:

Thanks you so much for dropping by! Have a great day ahead!

Novel

UP NEXT: The Gathering of the OLYMPIANS.

Day 20: A quick visit to Manaoag, Pangasinan.

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We woke up early to go to the bus terminal to way bill some of our stuff to Manila. We went to Viron Transit bus terminal at Lingsat, San Fernando La Union. When my mom paid the necessary amount for them to deliver our stuff to Viron Transit Cubao Terminal, we took a bus ride on the way to Pangasinan.

On the way to Pangasinan!

On the way to Pangasinan!

The travel from San Juan, La Union to Manaoag, Pangasinan took a little less than 3 hours. We lit some candles and said our prayers before going to the “blessing” area. It is where the priest go after the mass and bless the prayer books, rosaries and other religious articles with holy water.

Floating candles.

Floating candles.

You can say that we are devotees of Our Lady of Manaoag. Most of my family members and relatives try to visit the church as often as they could. Whenever we were on a vacation, we always make time to go and visit Our Lady of Manaoag.

Our Lady of Manoag Shrine.

Our Lady of Manaoag Shrine.

After our quick visit from the shrine, we left the church and went to Chowking for our lunch. After eating, we went to the nearest bus terminal to Cubao. Finally, were going home!

Novel

UP NEXT: Family Dinner at Mang Inasal.

DAY 19: Candon City and their famous Chichacorns

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It was our last day in La Union and we didn’t have any plans for the day except visit our relatives from our father side. However, after visiting our Aunt we made an impromptu decision to visit Candon City. I was surprised to find out that my mother haven’t been there as well. I didn’t go to Candon City, but we passed through it on the way to Nelie Lyn’s house in San Esteban, Ilocs Sur. Anyway, one of the reasons why we decided to go there was because of the chichacorns. If you haven’t tried the Ilocos chichacorn yet, its pretty much like your traditional cornick but its crunchier. I think the corn kernels were deep fried a little longer than the usual that it becomes so crunchy like a chicharon (deep fried pig skin), thus the name chichacorn.

Sweet and spicy falvored chichacorn.

Sweet and spicy flavored chichacorn.

It was a long journey to Candon City from San Fernando City, almost 2 hrs. When we got there, we met up with Nelie and had lunch at Greenwhich (I sent her a message earlier that we are going to Candon). After buying enough chichacorns, we went back to San Juan to prepare for our travel to Pangasinan the following day. I was so exhausted from our impromptu adventure that when we got home, I immediately fell asleep. Anyway, I had fun with my mother and my sister, at least now we can say that we’ve been to Candon City too!

UP NEXT: Trip to Manaoag, Pangasinan.

Novel

DAY 18: Family Day in San Juan

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We have this tradition, (I guess it’s more of a Catholic tradition than a family tradition) to offer prayers for the souls of our departed loved ones– we call it “padasal”. There are a group of people who will lead the prayers for 3 consecutive days (or more, depending on the prayer leaders) before Sunday, and on the last day we will have a small feast to say our thanks for the blessings we have received.

Me and my nephew Ethan after the mass.

Me and my nephew Ethan after the mass.

So, on August 10th, we went to San Juan Church for the morning mass, and when we got home, the food for the thanksgiving were being prepared. It was a small affair, just a few relatives and neighbors came to join us. On the afternoon, we went to Forest Lake en Cielo to visit our departed relatives.

From left to right: My sister-Melissa, me, Ethan, my cousins - Jessica and Angelica at Forest Lake en Cielo memorial.

From left to right: My sister-Melissa, me, Ethan, my cousins – Jessica and Angelica at Forest Lake en Cielo memorial.

Before going back home, we visted Taipan Garden Restaurant (again) for another round of Halo-halo. It was really worth it.

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From left to right: My mom, Ethan and me. I was helping Ethan with his Chicken Joy from Jollibee.

Aside from the halo-halo, the buko pandan drink is also a "must-try" in Taipan Garden Restaurant.

Aside from the halo-halo, the buko pandan drink is also a “must-try” in Taipan Garden Restaurant.

UP NEXT: Candon City and their famous Chichacorns.

Novel

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