Meet Little Yani: The Birth Story

My due date with Yani was actually on October 9, 2021. But weeks before, I remember telling EJ, my husband, how heavy and sluggish I’ve become. I had a history of having Gestational Trophoblastic Disease during my first pregnancy, so I had a Caesarean section with Zeeka. So with this, just for the doctor to make sure that everything is fine and dandy inside, I also had a C-section with Yani.

So going back, I initially wanted Sept. 29, 2021 to be the date of the delivery. Since we had weekly checkups with doctor and weekly ultrasounds, the last Ultrasound stated that my placenta was grade 2-3. Doctor Sarmiento explained that she wanted it to be at grade III, meaning the baby could breathe on its own already. So personally, I chose the delivery date to be moved a little bit further, to October 1, just to be sure.

So once we chose the date, Dra. Sarmiento gave us instructions to get a RT-PCR test (validity of the results is only for 7 days) and the instructions to show the admissions of Asian Hospital once we get to the hospital. She advised me to come a day before the operation, Sept. 30, 2021. Check out of hospital patients are at around 5:00 pm so she advised me to be in admissions at 3:00 pm. There are instances when there are no rooms for the patients, so if this happens, she advised us to go home and be in the hospital 3 hours before the operation (again, just in case there were no rooms). The husband can just wait outside the delivery room.

Getting Ready for the Hospital

For some reason, we had 3 huge luggages prepared for a 4 day stay at Asian Hospital. As compared to the one luggage, one duffel bag and a few backpacks that we brought during Zeeka’s delivery, we had to bring a lot of bags with other extra stuff because of safety and security. First of all, one difference is that we had to bring food for EJ. We didn’t want him going in and out of the room. We had brought a lot of cup noodles, Jamaican patties (which surprisingly lasts a while), our own bottles of water, coffee, etc. We brought a lot of food!

Next, we had to bring lots of alcohol, disposable and reliable face masks, and other disinfectants.

We brought all of these stuff, apart from the usual baby stuff, mommy stuff and daddy stuff that we brought.

For those undergoing a Caesarean section, don’t forget to bring your binder and maternity pads, too.

Checking In

We left our home at 2:00 pm. We were at Asian Hospital at around 3:00 pm. It’s usually a one hour drive from BGC to Alabang (less than an hour if you use Skyway). We parked in the basement and there were elevators that took us directly to the Upper Ground floor where Admissions is. When we got to admissions, we gave them a copy of doctor’s orders and our RT-PCR tests. There were just around 5 people there. Normally, those who are suspected to have COVID go directly to the Emergency Room. Most of the patients in admissions were there for other operations and procedures.

I was secretly praying that they would have an available room. I really didn’t want to come back the next day. It was fortunate that after waiting for around 30 minutes, we got to book a standard private room at the Asian Hospital. We just had to wait for the patient to check out, which was totally fine. By around 5:00 pm, we were in our room and we fixed our things and settled in.

My CS operation was at 8:00 am the next day, so the nurses would pick me up at 7:00 am. I only had until 12:00 midnight to eat and drink water. In the room, the nurses would do a routine check of my blood pressure, oxygen levels, etc. I also had a urinalysis test. The representatives also of the anesthesiologist and the pediatrician came to visit and check up on me.

I got to sleep for a few hours. I wasn’t nervous, but as mentioned, I felt heavier every minute. The baby, I felt, wanted to come out already. It felt more comfortable for me to sit on the chair than to lie down on the bed. So all throughout the night, EJ and I were looking for the most comfortable position for me. I told him that we switch places and for him to sleep on the bed instead, but he didn’t want to. So I moved back to the bed so that he could also get a good night’s sleep. Unfortunately, both of us were excited and anxious that we both didn’t get to sleep. Lol!

Day of the Delivery

The nurses & doctors started coming in at 6:00 am (did an allergy test for the medicine that they will give me… don’t know which medicine though) and finally at 7:00 am, they wheeled me out of the room. By the way, as much as possible, even while in our room, we hardly removed our masks. We only removed then when we ate. So while I was wheeled to the triage room (where they prepare you for delivery), I had my mask on.

In the triage, they gave me antibiotics via the IV line. Oh man, I forgot how much that hurt. It hurt in the arm, but after a while, it was fine. My nurse gave it in two parts so as to make the pain bearable.

Then if you are undergoing CS and you haven’t shaved, the nurses will shave it for you. This is so that the cut won’t get infected and to keep the area clean and free from any obstruction.

Dra. Sarmiento, my doctor, talked to me right before the operation. I love my doctor. She makes everything feel so easy, and she has a way of calming me down. I love knowing what will happen; keeping me out of the loop makes me panic. She did a good job explaining what will happen, because I totally forgot what happened 8 years ago when Zeeka was born.

At 8:00 am (probably… I didn’t have a watch), I was wheeled into the operating room. My anesthesiologist then told me that he had to inject the anesthesia at my back. I had to roll up like a baby, which was hard to do since my belly was huge. Lol! I had to sit up and roll forward for him to finally inject it.

Little by little, I started to feel numb from my upper belly to my toes. I could breathe and I could hear them talking. I could also feel a little bit of pressure on my lower half of my body, but nothing hurt.

I could hear them saying that they needed to apply pressure to push the baby out. I said … “go ahead”. I remember responding to their questions.

Then at 8:41 am, I heard them say, what a huge baby. Lol! The doctors asked me if I had a name for her, and I said, “yes, her name’s Yani”. I saw EJ say “hi!” and “are you okay?” from a distance and I heard them talking to him. I heard Yani’s cry as they were cleaning her up.

After a while, they brought her to me. It was love at first sight! Just like how it was with Zeeka, I got teary eyed as Yani latched on to me. We also had our first picture with Yani.

The nurses then had to take her after latching, because the doctors had to close me up and stitch me up.

For some reason, I then couldn’t breathe as my nose filled up with mucus. The anesthesiologist said that the medicine really had that effect. He put drops on my nose and after I got stitched up, I could then blow my nose. I think that was what made me feel uncomfortable during the whole procedure… just that.

Meet Rafaela Ariadne P. Arboleda (Yani)

Yani was born 8 pounds and 1 ounce at 8:41 am. Even if I’m a second time mom, everything about this pregnancy was special and there were (and will be) a lot of firsts!

Yani, we can’t wait to see you grow up and be there to witness each milestone. We love you so much! When you read this in the future, we’ll gladly share with you more stories of how we prepared for you during these crazy times! Hugs and kisses from mom, dad and manang Zeeka. 🙂

What Stocks to Buy When you have $100 on GoTrade

I posted on Facebook that I was testing out GoTrade, and a lot of friends responded. GoTrade is an application where I purchase foreign (mostly US) stocks. I made an intro blog post on Gotrade here: Buy Foreign Stocks with GoTrade

Personally, I find it to be more convenient than the other platforms, because of these things:

a. GoTrade allows me to purchase fractional shares. In other platforms, I need to purchase at least 1 share of stock for some popular stocks. But some of these these popular stocks costs hundreds of dollars to just purchase 1 share. With GoTrade, I can buy fractional shares and get in on the action when gains are seen from these stock shares.

b. I love that it’s so easy to cash in. You can cash in using GCASH, a UnionBank Account or a BPI account. I’m sure they will add more soon, but these three options are enough for me.

c. Withdrawing from GoTrade is also very convenient with a very affordable transaction fee of $4. And the money is deposited in a matter of minutes with instant withdrawals.

One question that I was asked by friends when I posted is which stocks did I buy.

I started with depositing $100 right off the bat (I wanted to experiment and test quickly). By the way, please do not take this post as financial advice. I am not a financial advisor or financial planner. I only share what I have experienced and what I am doing with my personal portfolio.

So for that $100, I placed them in these stocks.

  1. TESLA

I was attracted to purchase US stocks because I saw that a lot of vloggers where talking about AMC (during the time I started). Personally though, that time, I really wanted to purchase TESLA stocks. This is how I stumbled upon GoTrade.

So I initially placed $10 on this stock.

I then wanted to test out purchasing other stocks so I researched about it and wanted to place in ETFs. ETFs are exchanged traded funds. ETFs are like mutual funds, but ETFs are bought and sold throughout the day on stock exchanges. ETFs are basically created for individuals who want to mitigate risks, because instead of purchasing just one stock, the ETF helps you by actually investing in different stocks.

I was so excited to see ETFs from Vanguard in GoTrade. Vanguard is a trusted name when it comes to ETFs for most investors. They have different ETFs focusing in different sets of stocks. The ones that I purchased are VTI, VOO and VGT.

Other stock shares that I bought initially are those of the Pharmaceutical company, Moderna and that of a tech company, which is Google (for obvious reasons). I also later on invested in a lot more technology companies (which I will share in a different post soon).

Another segment that I was looking at was REITs or Real Estate Investment Trusts. REITs are basically investing on Real Estate without really owning properties for rent such as commercial spaces, malls, etc. We know that Real Estate investing is nice to have in our portfolio, but while I save up to purchase properties, REITs will do. I’ve been noticing that now, local companies like Robinsons Land and Megaworld are releasing REITs.

In GoTrade, they have different choices of REITs. I personally invested in O or Realty Income, Ares Commercial Real Estate and LTC Properties. Feel free though to research more about these different companies.

So there you have it. So for my $100, these are the companies that I invested in.

Some things to note…

I do dollar cost averaging, so I make it a habit to place a little amount every week if possible. I place around $20 a week at least (as much as possible).

I also check on the stocks that issue out dividends. You can check it on GoTrade by checking the Dividend Yield of the stock.

So that’s it for my answer to what did I purchase with $100 dollars. Hope this article helps.

If you haven’t downloaded GoTrade, you can look for it in the App store or Google playstore. You can use my invitation code to get in.

Use this invitation code so you can use Gotrade! It’s by invitation only 🙂

If you have any questions, feel free to comment on the section below! Have a great day!

Buying A New Drone? What First Time Drone Owners Need to Know

Undoubtedly, drone use can be extremely beneficial to influencers, social media managers, and photographers alike. The ability to capture images from high angles and get a unique shot easily is something that many people once thought wasn’t possible for amateurs. But owning a drone has completely changed how people create and consume content across the world.

You only have to head online to easily find an abundance of drone shots from various sources to see the popularity not only with the artists who use them to create the content but also from the consumer.

YouTube’s chief commercial officer, Robert Kyncl, forecasted that video would account for 90 percent of all internet traffic by 2020, with expenditure on digital video ads expected to climb by 30 per cent between 2015 and 2016. Another interesting figure is that 70% of marketers want to boost their social media video ad budgets in 12 months.

If you are looking to buy a drone to up your photography game, boost your social media images, use it within the realms of your company or business or to simply just have fun with it, you need to know some important details before you purchase.

Where to Buy A Drone

This obviously depends on your location and the availability of retailers in your specific country. It is always a good idea to buy direct from a retailer such as DrDrone.ca.This way; you can ensure you are buying the latest version and have an outlet to buy the latest hardware or accessories as required.

Consider investing in a starter drone and kit to help you get used to using it at first. The last thing you want is to invest a hefty sum of money in a drone to have an accident and be unable to use it without being fully confident in your skills.

Choose a Compact Drone

Drones, much like anything else, can come in many different shapes and sizes. If you are going to be going out and about frequently, you need to invest in a lightweight and company drone that is easy to transport. It is likely when you head out with it you will have other equipment, too and choosing a bigger drone might mean you struggle to carry it where you need it or retrieve it in the event of an issue.

Drone Insurance

Like you would insure your mobile phone, you need to ensure your drone too. Make sure you check the restrictions, if any, regarding areas of usage for repair when using the drone. For example, if your provider limits you to the area you bought the drone for insurance, then damaging your drone outside of this area will void your policy. Make sure the cover you obtain applies to your needs.

Learn The Drone Flying Rules

When you first start using your drone, make sure you know all your locations regulations and laws about drone usage, especially if you plan to travel abroad and use your drone in a different country. 

Each country will have a page online dedicated to drone usage and what is acceptable. But for general advice, some rules can apply for pretty much most places and are a common courtesy for drone users, including;

  • Stay 8km away from airports
  • Fly under 400 feet from the ground
  • Do not fly over government facilities 
  • Do not fly over private properties and residential spaces
  • Only fly in open areas
  • Keep your drone in the one of sight

Register For Any Permits

Different countries have different requirements, and you cannot just buy a drone and take it out to fly. In the Philippines, commercial drone use requires a permit. An operator may not conduct aerial work activities unless they have a valid certificate of authority granted by the Authority.

Avoid falling foul of the law and register your intention to fly a drone, and get the appropriate paperwork to allow you to do so.

Buy Extra Supplies

It can be easy to overlook the extras you might need to use your drone effectively, especially if you bought on impulse. If you are using your drone commercially, you will probably find that you need to purchase supplies to help you prolong your usage when out and about and help you get the most from your new drone. Some packages may include some or all of the following.

Consider buying;

  • Extra batteries
  • Battery Charging pack
  • Carry Case
  • Memory Card
  • Filters
  • Spare propellers
  • Propellor guards
  • Landing gear
  • Car charging kit

You Need To Install Software

You cannot open up your drone and use it. You need to set up the software for the drone, charge the batteries, install the propellers etc. Additionally, you will also need to add the software on your phone from the controller. You will also need to register your drone with the provider to get you up and running.

Practise Makes Perfect

Drone are fragile pieces of technology. When you consider the heights they are typically used at, if they were to come crashing down, it can cause a lot of damage.

These days, drones are super user friendly, and as such most people can pick up the skills pretty quickly. Remember to use your drone in a safe space and remember to follow the rules when practising your skills. Don’t push it too much too soon, and allow yourself to build up the confidence required for a successful drone flight.

Consider undergoing drone flight training to improve your skills and fly with other people, so more than one set of eyes are on the drone, and you can have support in keeping track of your drone until you become more confident.

There is no denying that a drone can be a handy tool for any industry. However, take the time to get to know your new piece of kit before using it and make sure you have the relevant permission and permits to take your drone out into the sky.

Taxation for Philippine Social Media Influencers

Whenever my content creator friends and social media influencers would ask me when is it the best time to pay taxes, I would always tell them that once you are earning, you have to pay. And this is not because I want to be some goody two shoes in this industry, but personally, what I value most is peace of mind. So today, let’s go through this RMC about Taxation for Social Media Influencers.

Believe me! I had my fair share of missed tax filings and books that were not updated years ago, and it was not a fun thing to go through. I had to pay exorbitant fees, but I couldn’t blame anybody else. Paying taxes is the responsibility of the tax payer, so I couldn’t blame my accountant or blame the BIR for charging me. Having no knowledge of the law is not an excuse, so we all better brush up on learning about taxes.

Why are we discussing this? Yesterday, our tax ministry, the BIR, released a Revenue Memorandum Circular (RMC) or a memo reminding everyone that all Social Media Influencers to file and pay their taxes. This is RMC97-2021. Some of you would ask “who are Social Media Influencers”? So the BIR actually gave a run down of who these people are and they specifically mentioned those who are under the YouTube Partner Program or basically people who are earning from Youtube.

But, if you earn via direct advertising, meaning you get paid by brands, or you earn via other platforms like Facebook (via support badges, stars, etc.), Twitch (via bits and subs), Kumu (via in app gifts, etc.), Instagram, even Affiliate commissions, please please please do pay taxes for these things, well. The law states that if you earn any income on Philippine soil, you will have to declare taxes for these earnings.

So how do you begin?

I wrote a blog post before where I explained how you can start paying taxes as a freelancer: A FREELANCER’S AND CONSULTANT’S GUIDE TO USING TAXUMO

Feel free to go through this post.

In the RMC, BIR also goes through the allowable deductions or basically, what are the expenses that you can declare. It also goes through compliance from registration, to updating your books and filing and paying taxes (which I discussed in the shared linked above for Freelancers).

The BIR goes on to remind the penalties for tax evasion and failure to file a return.

Penalties for Online and Social Media Influencers who evade taxes and who fail to file their taxes

After that, the BIR discusses double taxation. Double taxation is basically being taxed by the platforms that you use and being taxed as a professional. An example for this is that Google LLC withholds 24% of your earnings. Then when you declared in the Philippines as a tax payer, you will have to pay VAT/Percentage, Income tax and (if applicable) withheld taxes.

To avoid double taxation, one must secure a tax residency certificate (TRC) from the BIR and then this is submitted to the foreign platform who is applying taxes in their own countries. Note that this is only applicable to platforms and entities in countries that the Philippines has a tax treaty with.

What happens to your taxes in that foreign country? In the case of Google LLC, the previously withheld 24% will now become 15% and then you still have to pay taxes in the Philippines. Of course, for other platforms, they will have yet to share what their own taxes are.

So with the reminder yesterday, the last section of the RMC states this…

So there you have it. If you have questions or you need assistance, feel free to chat with Taxumo via the chat button on their site: https://www.taxumo.com or email them your inquiries customercare@taxumo.com.

Two New Kid-Friendly Features from Netflix

My daughter and I joined this super fun call with Netflix where they shared two new Netflix kid-friendly features. In our household, it has been a habit to watch a new kid-friendly show every weekend.

We love watching with Zeeka because it’s a great way to bond with her and get to know her thoughts about different things.

Shows and movies are an important way for kids to connect with the world – helping to teach them about new places, create bonds with family or friends and understand other perspectives.

We learned about the two Netflix kid-friendly features and I’d like to share these with you, too. This will help families like you navigate around Netflix and discover new shows that you can watch with your family – whether it’s a fantasy film like Wish Dragon or an action-adventure series like Ridley Jones.

Bi-Weekly Kids Recap Emails

Netflix Bi-Weekly Recap Emails

First, there will be bi-weekly kids recap emails to give parents a better understanding of your child’s preferences and news ways to engage those interests, like: 

  • Recommendations based on your child’s favorite shows and movies;
  • Printable coloring sheets and activities inspired by your kid’s favorite characters;
  • Top themes or topics charts that show the types of programs your child enjoys most (i.e. science, friendship); and
  • Tips for how to use our Kids features on Netflix.

Now, Zeeka is always following up with me if I have already gotten an email from Netflix… LOL!

Kids Top 10

Second, Netflix launched Kids Top 10 rows featuring our most popular children’s content in your country. 

Netflix has seen how Top 10 rows help members / subscribers find something to watch. And of course, helping families make the best decisions has always been important to them so now, they are offering a wide variety of safe (and fun!) tools for younger viewers like kids profiles, custom ratings and profile locks.

The Top 10 rows feature gives kids recommendations on what to watch next.

Super amazing, right? Connecting kids with their families, friends and stories around the world has never been easier. Check out these two new Netflix kid-friendly features.