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Therapy, that is.

I don’t think I’d ever looked forward to the First of April as much as I did for today. April 1 couldn’t come too soon for me. It was the first day of my fourth set of treatments for lower back pain.


Last treatment was early December, so I am still thankful for over three months of relatively minimal pain. In the last two weeks though, pain started to escalate. On Thursday night, I dared say that it was nearly as bad as the first time I experienced it back in August last year. The pain killers just don’t seem to work anymore. I knew that it would just get worse until I could get some therapy.

I wish I could say that there was relief right after the first session. So far, things are the same. But I have full confidence that soon, things will be better. Currently, I am wearing sacro-lumbar support – it’s like a corset that you strap on. But I’m so big that I need another person to help pull it just to get it on. The boyfriend is just the perfect person for it – muscle man (without the muscles)! Hehe.

So… I know did not end on a high note, but it’s no reason to be fearful for what’s to come in April. Besides, how can it not be a good month, when you’ve got this little angel ushering it in?

Photo Mar 28, 5 44 43 PM

Amir and his parents were here for the long weekend. He ran all around our little home, and I just watched him from the couch because I couldn’t run after him, haha. He fills our days with so much joy whenever he’s here. They left on Easter Sunday which was the only time the entire Holy Week that the house got quiet. Smile

Beware of Investment Scams

As the below poster from Pesos and Sense goes: “Aral muna bago invest” – Aya Laraya.

Indeed, before entering into any investment, financial or otherwise, study your options first.

aral muna bago invest

In the news for weeks now, we hear about thousands of investors in Visayas and Mindanao duped by Aman Futures Group, Visioner 20/20, and The Rasuman Group. These separate groups have all promised the same thing: get-rich-quick, guaranteeing 30%-60% return rate in a short period of time.

Every few years, we see these stories in the news. The faces change, the names change, but the tactics are all the same. Why then do our countrymen still fall prey to these scammers?

Before October closed I attended Module 2 of the Pesos and Sense Seminar Series: Time Value of Money. I attended the first module (Make your money grow) months ago and have made initial investments since then. In this installment, I learned about key things one should take into consideration when deciding on a suitable investment. One of these is FUTURE VALUE – how much do you want to get in the future out of your investment?

Now in scam situations, the promised future value is usually very high, 30% to 70% of the initial investment. What’s more is that this is supposedly recoverable within a short amount of time, say a year. So are claims like this automatically scams in nature? If they are unable to tell you exactly where the profit is coming from, where the money is going to be invested, then you need to start asking more questions. If it’s too good to be true, then maybe it is too good to be true. Even PNoy offered his tips on avoiding pyramid scams.

In How to Avoid Investment Scams, we are given four questions that we need to ask anyone offering us an investment opportunity:

  1. What is the background of the company?
  2. How much do I invest and how much will I get?
  3. When will I get it?
  4. How will I earn?

These are very simple questions, but the answers are very important.

In summary, it pays to be educated. Here, educated doesn’t mean formal schooling or a University degree. Financial literacy is key. Do not go into something without first learning about it.

For this information (and more), driving to Commonwealth on a Saturday afternoon was well worth it.  I had almost missed the seminar because my day was so full (Friday night shift > Monday morning therapy > Seminar in the afternoon > Saturday night shift) but I didn’t want to throw away the free pass that the Pesos and Sense team gave me for being a loyal stalker of their projects. And Sir Aya and team did not disappoint. There was new information, and I learned a lot from the very active audience. Compared to the first seminar I attended, there were more questions from the floor this time. There was even a long line after the session because some participants chose to field their questions privately.

The Pesos and Sense Seminar Series is something I would continue to recommend to anyone wanting to know more about growing their money. They have raised registration prices a bit, but just consider it as your initial investment for your future. Smile

UP Pep Squad–#UAAPCDC2012 champs!

UP PEP SQUAD UAAP CHEERDANCE CHAMPS 2012 Collage by Verabear | Image credits: InterAKTV/Roy Afable and Spin.Ph/Jerome Ascano

Collage by Verabear | Image credits: InterAKTV/Roy Afable and Spin.Ph/Jerome Ascano

The University of the Philippines Pep Squad has defended its championship title for the UAAP Cheerdance Competition held Saturday, 9/22/2012 at the Mall of Asia Arena. They were bold and semi-bald as they executed their routines and stunts in front of a crowd 19,000-strong.

This year, as in years before, UP sets trends. They had moves that no other squad used, showing that they are still a step ahead of their toughest competitors. Last year it was pixie blondes and Madonna; this year, they WOWed us by strutting to the floor with their androgynous look and semi-kalbo hairstyle. From afar, there was no distinguishing between male and female performers.

FREEDOM. The squad’s routine celebrates the freedom we have in the University to be what we want to be, look how we want to look like. Even the freedom to break gender barriers. The Oblation was also a symbol they used: standing tall and proud, free. Truly free, to truly serve.

In 1998 we were Freshman Iskas who screamed our lungs out cheering for the UP Pep Squad. We were so happy then with a 3rd place finish. Of course, they went back to Araneta to claim the top spot the next year, and the year after that… And every year since then, I remained a fan.

You don’t have to be from UP to be a fan. Just look the young men and women of the UP Pep Squad and tell me what you see. Athletes in their own right. Experts. They aren’t just out there to dance and tumble on the floor. They are passionate. They are skilled. This is what sets the UP Pep Squad apart from everyone else. This is also why we, the fans, are so confident that every year they will not disappoint.

So once again, thank you UP Pep Squad for bringing the UP community together (young and old, black and white). Thank you for once again making us proud. What’s next? Smile


I tried posting the video from ANCAlerts of the winning routine, but somehow even copying directly from Youtube renders the Ateneo vid, so here’s the link instead: http://adf.ly/D5H0u




Image source: http://www.ayalaland.com.ph/portfolio/growth-centers/nuvali

So I went to see Sean and Sab, and my girlfriends, on Saturday right? And I mentioned hanging out for a bit at Nuvali. But what I haven’t said, is how I’ve been nearly obsessing about Nuvali. As in thinking of buying property there. As if I had the money, haha.

Never heard of the place? It’s Ayala Land’s flagship sustainability project:

This 1,700 hectare eco-community between Calamba and Santa Rosa in Laguna offers green design and multifunctional amenities. It also reduces instances of wasteful use of resources.

The development has been specifically designed to embrace greener measures, particularly those related to water conservation, energy efficiency, and recycling.

NUVALI is vastly more sustainable compared to other business and residential districts in the country. And it has all the amenities to serve the needs of the country’s growing eco-friendly market.

Its four-hectare lake serves as a rainwater catchment and grey water reservoir. NUVALI also has a built-in Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary, sheltering 10 endemic animal species and 36 indigenous species of flora.

NUVALI, moreover, maintains an average of one tree for every 250 square meter of gross area developed for better air quality, and to reduce soil erosion and improve water retention.

But seriously. I love Quezon City and can’t truly think of settling anywhere else in Metro Manila. Other places I’ve considered are Sagada, New York (though I’ve never been), and Helsinki (thanks to features on cable TV). But I could never imagine myself living in Pasay, for example, or much more, the South. And Nuvali is as far south as I can imagine that isn’t too far from the center of the Metro Manila universe.

I guess I was captivated by the place. And the idea of living in a sustainable community, where eco-living and healthy-living are given importance, it’s quite appealing. There’s a wakeboard park in the area, and bicycle and running tracks too I guess.

Perhaps while there I was able to see the kind of lifestyle I want for myself and my family someday. One where it would be nice to bring kids into.

So the boyfriend has heard me bring up Nuvali in our conversations this week. And he called me out on it this afternoon. I really want to take him there so we can check things out. Oh okay, and do a little bit of shopping at the same time. Winking smile

We reckon though, that to afford a house and lot in that area, we’d both have to keep on working. He’s using it to dissuade me from any thoughts of quitting my regular job and striking out on my own any time in the next 3-5 years. I won’t be able to quit my job. But as I told him, when I resign from the BPO job, it doesn’t have to mean being forever unemployed. It’s just a start so I can explore more of what I can be and what I can do. I’d really like to go into my own business, or even be employed, but at something I can be very very passionate about. Or I could start my own answering services company (or insert any brilliant idea for a startup business here). The possibilities are endless!

Sean and Sab


Weekends and Holidays. Who doesn’t love them? Unluckily for me (and thousands more working in the BPO industry) we have no such thing as a long weekend. Unless we go on leave. So while the rest of the country made plans for a long weekend, and while more still look forward to one more day work-free, here I am already over it. I already went back to work last night. Went to work silently wishing I actually had one more day. Sigh.

See, I need two days to just crash. One day to just eat-sleep-loaf around, and another day to do it all over again. This weekend, I only had half a day of such lifestyle (Sunday morning). On Saturday, we went to visit sweet Sean, his newborn baby sister Sab, and their parents. It was a good hour’s drive from the Metro.

It was a fun day and I enjoyed myself immensely, but I needed a full day to recover. Haha. Smile



Apart from allowing Sean to show us his toys, or amaze us with his mastery of using apps on both an Android phone and an Iphone, we also gushed over baby Sab, and caught up with Mommy Y.


We even snuck in some window shopping time at Nuvali, where we also had dinner, and bought yummy bread from Purple Oven.

I cherish these rare times with my girlfriends and try not to worry about time or expense when I do get to see them. After all, I hardly ever do! Like with Y, it’s been over a year since I last saw her. So I definitely do not mind having to drive all the way to San Pedro, Laguna. It’s not even that far really.

How did you spend your long weekend?

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