Expanding my horizons: Towards being financially free

Aside from the business that my high school best friend is conceptualizing, I have another business that I started two years ago before I left the bank. It was introduced to me first by a house mate yet I refused to go with her then because I told her that I had no time to do business. So it was Abbey who convinced me to finally meet with his business partners over coffee and discuss the business opportunity. Guess what, after hearing what I had to hear, after introduction to business associates, and after coffee, I decided to do the business.

The reason why I decided to do it: for my family.

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Mi familia

I always wanted to have a complete family. With complete, I mean that we are living in the same roof, we see each other upon waking up and before going to sleep. I grew up with my Dad always abroad. Up to now, he works abroad. He has to because it is the only way to meet the financial requirements of our family. My husband works abroad as well. Though he is well compensated, it is still different if he is with us everyday. And so, I decided to do the business so that we can be together as a family, we can travel anytime of the year, we can spend more time with each other. I did the business because of my dreams: so that my Dad can already retire from his work; that my Mom and Dad can finally spend more time with each other; that we can travel the world; that I can do charity work; that I can be a multi-millionaire; that I can be financially free.

I had to stop doing the business for a while when I moved back to the province. At the same time, I enrolled in law school so I have to concentrate with my studies. But then, I was again reminded of my dreams. Thank God my partners are still willing to help me start again. Thank God that the business is expanding. The team has partners all over the world, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, US. 

What I love with my business is that it is not just an earning business; it is a helping business. We help people realize these dreams. And I am glad to be a part of a team who are very generous when it comes to helping other people.

So, I am starting over again, taking each step at a time. Baby steps, as what Robert Kiyosaki said. I am tapping the international market through my friends who are working overseas. I have also a great team who are supporting me when it comes to my business partners in the Philippines. Thank God for these people, they truly are a blessing. I wish to be a blessing to many people as well. I am praying that God will lead me to the right people. Because these people will help me fulfill my dreams and at the same time, I become God’s instrument in fulfilling theirs as well.

Do you dream of being financially free? What are the steps that you are doing to achieve financial freedom?

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Hating Rainy Days

I was writing this in the middle of moot court exhibition out of, maybe boredom or lack of interest in the presentation of my schoolmates. It is also raining, there is actually a storm (Typhoon Pedring) and our province is under public storm signal no. 1. All I want is to cuddle in bed with my little girl, wishing as well that my husband’s with us as well.

Rainy days always make me sad. I hate waking up and finding out that it is a gloomy day. These days make me wish that Melvin’s with me, he’d fetch me from school, we’d share umbrella, have coffee at Starbucks and so on.

Before we got married, we were five years into the relationship. However, since we’re always far apart, we never really had time to bond that long. I was always in Manila and the relationship was sort of illegal. Whenever we’re together, time seemed to fly so fast that we barely had time to talk. I always wanted to go out of town but, aside from budget constraints, my parents wouldn’t allow me to go out of town.

Rainy days make me sad because they remind me of sadness, of my longing for with my husband. I am thankful that he has a job right now but I also wish to be with him always. Watch him wake up. Watch him while sleeping. Hug him whenever I want to. If it were not for law school, we’ll probably be in Singapore right now. But, we are thinking of our long term goals and of the future. We are doing this not for ourselves but for Kaila and the future kids.

Wanna bet?

I used to be 45 kilos. I was around 50+ kilos when I got pregnant and then lost a little weight after giving birth to Kaila. After, I used contraceptive pills because Melvin had no work for about a year and we did not want to have a second child yet. I used the more expensive pills as prescribed by my OB. Accordingly, these pills will not contribute to weight gain. A few months after, I noticed that I started gaining weight, maybe because of the pills + law school stress. Because of puyat and lack of exercise, my metabolism suffered. As a result, I am now 58 kilos, which means that I am over weight, and which further means that I have to change wardrobe soon if I do not mind my eating habits and if I refuse to do some physical activities.

I used to be a small size. Now, most of my blouses are either medium or large and most of my pants do not fit me anymore. I am having a hard time choosing which clothes to wear. Most of the time, after I’ve decided what to wear, I have a hard time wearing them or become very uncomfortable with them. Being fat is so frustrating for me because I cannot wear anymore the clothes that I used to wear and those that I want to wear. The first because I do not have many clothes in my closet and I am not fond of shopping for clothes. The latter because there are many clothes that I want to wear but I do not have the confidence to do so because my tummy is bulging and my love handles are showing. Frustrating isn’t it?

So, I’ve decided to lose weight and get back into shape. I decided to eat healthy and be physically active. At the end of the year, I declare, that I will be 48 kilos and back to small size, with at most 27-inch waistline. Wanna bet? 🙂 Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld

On Weddings and Ever Afters

After I got married, everytime I attend a wedding and the bride walks in the aisle, I can’t help but become teary-eyed. It reminds me of my wedding day, when I walked down the aisle, teary-eyed as well, to say “I do” to the most wonderful man in the whole world. 

Last September 10, our family (less my sister) went to QC to attend Kuya Ryann’s wedding. I was assigned as the commentator and my brother was one of the groom’s men so we had to be there early (the ceremony was at 3pm). We left home 1130 am and fetched my cousins, who decided to ride with us. We had two gasoline stops, one at Petron STAR tollway to check our tires and the other at Shell Mamplasan to fetch my brother’s gf and grab a quick lunch. I thought we would be late for the mass because we were not familiar with the church location, but that God for maps and for the manongs, we arrived 15 minutes before the actual ceremony.

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(From L-R: Emily (my bro’s gf), me, Kaila, Daddy, Mommy)

As I’ve said, weddings are very dear to me, and so when Ate Anjh was walking down the aisle, I was on the verge of crying. I felt a mixture of emotions, probably the same feelings three years ago while I was walking down the aisle, approaching Melvin. And when Ate Anjh reached Kuya Ryann, I had to look somewhere else because if not, my tears would’ve fallen, I would’ve lost my composure and I wouldn’t be able to perform my part in the ceremony.

It was a solemn yet joyful ceremony. Looking at them, I knew that they are really meant for each other. My cousin had a son when he was 18. His parents and his girlfriend’s parents decided not to have them married. It was a very unconventional decision, but during the wedding ceremony, I realized that it was actually a good decision. For if not, I think my cousin wouldn’t have met Ate Anjh and he wouldn’t be as happy.

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With the groom’s family

I am happy to have been part of that wonderful wedding. I am not privy to their private lives but during that moment, when I attended their wedding, I felt their happiness. It is every girl’s dream to walk down the aisle and get married to her prince charming. Three years ago, my dream came true when I married Melvin. And everytime I see a bride in her white gown, preparing to meet her man at the end of the red carpet, that exact moment that I was in the bride’s shoes is relived and I feel like I am that girl again, anticipating for that moment to happen when I can finally say that I am Mrs. Prince Charming and we can live happily ever after.

One Night in Cafe Milflores

There are quite a few things that pleases me and catches my attention: books, interior design, picture frames, and writing materials (notebooks, post-its, anything paper that one can write on). During one of our night explorations, my law school buddies went to a newly-opened cafe in Batangas City to have our after-class snack. I did not expect anything grand about the place neither did I went there expecting that it was your usual coffee/pastry shop that serve as tambayan of the sosyaleras (sorry for the term).

However, the minute I entered the cafe, I was literally hooked into it. (Hooked because I ignored the “tsismis” of my classmate and had to ask him to repeat his story after I was done taking photos.) 

Cafe Milflores is an extraordinary coffee and sweets resto. We were welcomed by their smiling chef named Martin, which made me feel instantly comfortable with the place. It is not the usual good evening mam/sir greeting; rather, we were greeted as if we have known each other for a long time.

The ambience of the place is also very welcoming. Cozy but chic. I felt like I was in a little girl’s room because of the light pink and white theme that dominated it (I was imagining my little girl’s room to look like this, minus the bar of course). It was a small place, yet the bright chandeliers and the all glass windows made it appear as if it can accommodate a hundred people at the same time. I particularly like the walls decorated with pictures frames and mirrors of various sizes. There is a blue sofa at the other end of the room, which is a good spot for taking photos. A bookshelf filled with recent titles (such as the Twilight series and the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series) is located on the left side of the sofa. The cafe is indeed an ideal place for reading (except maybe during those nights when a group of law students visits the place to rant about school, haha, that’s us!).

 

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The girls on the sofa

After taking plenty of photos, we finally decided to order food. I chose grilled cheese trio, brewed coffee and oreo cheese cake (wala munang diet). I haven’t tried a lot of sandwiches and food in general so I don’t know whether the food was extraordinary. For me, I consumed the sandwich and the coffee so it must have tasted good, right? More emphasis should be given to the cheesecake. Yum yum yum! (Also the toblerone-flavored cheesecake ordered by my friend.) I’m fond of sweets but I don’t like it when the dessert is overwhelmingly saccharine. The cheesecakes here are superb! Not too sweet and very smooth. I have yet to taste the other treats. It doesn’t hurt if I try one everyday because the food selection is very much affordable. I spent only P185 for all the items that I bought.

 

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Souvenirs

Lastly, the shop offers small pieces of cute items that you can take home as souvenirs. (Yes, I did take home two items for Kaila and myself.)

To sum it all up, Cafe Milflores is a must-visit. As I’ve written in the first part of this piece, I love books, notepads, and interior design. Cafe Milflores is the epitome of my most favorite things in the world, which is probably why it had me at hello. This can be your favorite reading spot or tambayan too.  

Nota bene: In case you found this piece too biased, no, I am not in any way associated to Cafe Milflores. 🙂 You can find Cafe Milflores at 2A P. Dandan St. cor P. Panganiban St. Batangas City. Visit also their Facebook Page for more info. 

Here are more photos for your reference. Apologies if they’re not high quality ones for they are taken by my BB Curve. Next time I’d bring my camera.

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Love love love the walls!

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More wall pics!

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Books!

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Yes, they have these lights! Very elegant indeed.

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Yellow door!

Table for two! My turn to have a photo op.

 

The grades are out!

I did not know what to expect when I arrived at Kaila’s school today. I was wishing that Kaila got good grades but I did not want to expect too much from my little girl. I do not want to pressure Kaila early on in her life because of the simple fact na hindi s’ya sanay sa biglaan (to borrow the lyrics of the song “Biglaan.)

Academic Skills

 

As I expected, she did well in her exams. Teacher said that she easily picks up the lessons, so there is no problem when it comes to her intellectual abilities. She also received a green star (Acceptable) for her Christian values and attitudes. (Matutuwa Lola ko nyan.) However, her other skills: autonomy, social, communication, fine motor skills, and gross motor skills all need further improvement. I was surprised how detailed the assessment was. For instance, in the autonomy skill, it was divided into several categories, which includes the self-help skills, which in turn include a category that says “uses utensils when eating.” Very specific indeed. And I love the fact that the grading categories are laid out that way. It is easier to know which areas parents should concentrate on when it comes to the development of their children, right. Here’s a photo so that you get an idea how detailed it is (and you get to see how’s Kaila doing in school.

How's Kaila Doing?

Summing up Teacher Margie’s observations:

1. Kaila still acts like a baby. (Pa-bunso attitude) She likes being assisted (Teacher, I can’t do it.) She is still very dependent on other people.

2. She is very sweet to her teachers.

3. She is sometimes bossy to her classmates. Haha. I can imagine.

4. She mimics what her teacher does and says to her classmates. (No Veron, do not color your book./Sit down on your chair.)

5. She easily understands the class lessons.

6. She loves it when she is given a task.

7. She oftentimes runs without direction.

8. She is moody. There are times when she does not want to do a task that her teachers have to wait until she is already in the mood to do it.

9. She is no longer as “mataray” as before. (Haha. Where did she get that trait, I wonder.)

Teacher said not to worry because it was just an initial assessment. There is a lot of room for improvement. The truth is, I am not worried at all. I was actually happy to find out how Kaila is doing and that fact that she has improved greatly, from the crybaby who did not want Mommy to leave her inside the classroom to an eager school girl who always comes home from school with a star on her hand. Way to go kiddo. Mommy and Daddy are proud of you. 🙂

By wishful thinker Posted in family

Dreaming and Fulfilling Those Dreams

I am a person with plenty of dreams. Who doesn’t have any dream at all? A few days ago, my Dad jokingly (jokes are half-meant!) said that not one of those dreams have come true. Wasn’t he mean? Of course, I beg to disagree. 

1. I dreamt of a beautiful family and I was given a wonderful, loving,  understanding and generous husband and a sweet, intelligent and equally wonderful daughter.
2. I dreamt of studying in law school (and passing the bar and being a lawyer) and here I am, six years after graduating from college, on my 2nd year in law school.
3. I wanted to have a business and a few weeks after, my high school friend sent me an SMS and told me that we should start a business venture. (We’re still in the process of looking for a profitable and rewarding business venture. On Sunday, we’ll be meeting up with a possible business partner.)
4. I prayed for continuous blessings for me and my family and God has never failed me. Melvin’s personal employment pass (as opposed to employment pass) got approved. His project is on-going and will hopefully last until next year. My parents are healthy as ever. My brother and my sister are doing great in their respective careers. I am doing great in school. I can buy what I want (although not all of them, yet.) without worrying how I will be able to pay it. 

Yes, I still have plenty of unfulfilled dreams: house of my own, car, travel opportunities, seven-figure savings, LVs and many other material things. I always say I am never contented and always wanting for more. However, I can gladly and proudly say that life is better these days and I am very thankful for the blessings as well as the challenges. There are still plenty of unfulfilled dreams but I always say that God is preparing us so that when these blessings arrive, we are more ready to receive and embrace them.

One of the greatest influences in my life is Rhonda Byrne, the author of The Secret. She was introduced to me by friends from my network marketing biz a few years back. According to Rhimes, if you want something, you have to ask for it. You have to believe that it will be given to you. And most importantly, you have to receive it, even if physically, it is not yet yours. You have to really receive it, imagine that it is already yours. Simply put, you have to attract the things that you want and the Universe will give it to you. 

Teaching Kaila

Teaching Kaila

Studying entails a lot of sacrifices, especially when you are a student-mom like me. One of the things that I cannot religiously do is to teach my little girl. Good thing she easily picks up her school lessons and she usually comes home from school with a star (which means very good) on her hand.

Whenever I have time, I make it a point to teach her. Whenever there is an opportunity, I insert their class lessons to the situation to review whether she understands what they teach her in school.

Last August was their assessment month for the first quarter. I don’t know if she did well because her teacher is on maternity leave and she cannot conduct PTC due to her condition. But based on my assessment, she is good with numbers (she must have got it from her dad, haha) and she has a sharp memory. I don’t know if all kids have a sharp/retentive memory but Kaila is able to recall easily what she saw/hear even after a few weeks. One instance is the name of her pedia-pulmo, whom we visit only a very few times a year because her clinic is in Alabang (1.5 hours drive if there is no traffic) and she is not really Kaila’s pedia (I just bring Kaila to her when she has persistent cough for her “true” pedia usually gives antibiotics for cough). The last time we visited her was January. Kaila is afraid of her pedia so we normally have a hard time bringing her to the doctor when she is sick. She cries hard, shouts, and does not want to see her pedia. So when I told her last month that we will go to the doctor, she said: “Ayaw dra (her pedia). Don na lang Dra. Vina.” I was surprised that she still recalls the name of dra vina despite the fact that we seldom visit her. The point is, I was surprised that she retained the name of dra vina even after a few months that her name was never mentioned in any of our conversations.

So, my problem now is that I want Kaila to develop study habits as early as 3 years old. I also want her to excel in class, although I don’t want to put too much pressure this early. She loves writing and reading, she enjoys watching TV and she is very eager to learn things. But there are times when she refuses to learn and study. I want her to understand that studying is important. I always tell her to do listen to her teachers and to answer teachers’ questions. I always tell her to have a star on her hand when she comes home from school. And I tell her that we are proud of her when she does well in school. Does a 3-year-old kid understand the concept of “make-your-mommy-proud”?

O well, I know this is a long process.
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