Great news for social entrepreneurs! Now in its fourth year, BPI Sinag is looking to help more social enterprises get a head start on their business ideas.

And this year, they are challenging social entrepreneurs to encourage the creation of wealth among the Filipino ultra-poor.

BPI Sinag is the flagship program of BPI Foundation, the social innovation arm of the Bank of the Philippine Islands. Its goal is to accelerate businesses that create products and services that aim to make a social impact in a sustainable manner, targeting the triple-bottom-line of people, planet, and profit.

To celebrate BPI Foundation’s 40th anniversary, BPI Sinag is taking on the road to reach new social enterprises, launch new ideas and opportunities, and pave the way in improving the social enterprise ecosystem in the country.

Since its launch in 2015, BPI Sinag has been able to reach out and help 138 social enterprises nationwide. Each year, social entrepreneurs are given a chance to pitch their ideas to a panel of experts. They are then shortlisted based on their pitches and their performance until ten awardees are selected.

To reach social enterprises all over the nation, BPI Foundation conducted the Sinag Fast Track. Qualified applicants will secure a spot on the #BPISinag2018 Top 40 and will be moving on to the first round of Sinag Bootcamp to be held in Manila. From there, 20 enterprises will be selected based on their presentation until only ten are left.

Five of the awardees will get P100,000 while the top five will get P500,000. Winners will also receive cash grants and continued mentorship that can increase the chances of their project’s success.

Here’s the list of social enterprises that made it last year.

Accents and Petals Crafts and Accessories  a novelty shop selling flowers made from recycled wood and paper

Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation, Inc. – develops, manufactures, and installs technologies such as ram pumps for drinking and irrigation water, for the poor in the uplands

Association of Differently-Abled Persons in Iloilo Multi-Purpose Cooperative – a furniture making business giving jobs to persons with disabilities

Buhatan River Eco-Adventure Service Cooperative (BRESC) – an eco-tourism service in Sorsogon promoting the attractions of the Buhatan River

Coffee For Peace – a coffee supplier of world-class Arabica and Robusta beans working to promote peace in Mindanao

CustomMade Crafts Center, Inc. – a weaving novelty shop offering assorted items designed with Hinabol fabric

Happy Helpers a professional home cleaning service that employs and empowers mothers from poor communities

Lamlifew Village Museum and School of Living Tradition – a living museum which showcases the cultural practices of Blaan tribe in the Sarangani Province

Mori Creations – a designer of innovative fashion accessories collaborates with mothers from poor communities in Apolonio Samson, Quezon City

Zarraga Integrated Diversified Organic Farmers Association (ZIDOFA) – a community of farmers revolutionizing rice growth with rich organic fertilizer 

As an entrepreneur, I think it’s an awesome venue for fellow entrepreneurs to test their ideas. Pitching your ideas to an expert panel can give you a different perspective and feedback on which aspects need improvement. Pitching on the stage also helps boost your confidence, presentation, and negotiation skills.

Events like these are also a great place to meet people who are as ambitious and as driven as you are. Here you can exchange ideas and get the support that you need to change the world as we know it. Who knows, you might also meet your future mentor in these events!

So if you think your idea has the potential to make a great impact and improve the lives of the Filipino people, send your entries to www.sinag.bpifoundation.org or email info.bpisinag@gmail.com. Deadline of entries is on May 15, 2018.

I completely understand. We’ve been receiving thousands of inquiries via our chat button in Taxumo’s site this April asking a lot of things about the 8% Income Tax Rate option. So, I thought writing about it would be a good idea (and note that this is based on my understanding). Full disclosure! I am not a tax expert. I am just relaying what I have heard from our BIR contacts. And if you read opinions on this post, this is MY own personal opinions and not the opinion of Taxumo. Got it? 🙂

What is this 8% Income Tax Option and who can avail of this?

Because of the TRAIN Law (aka R.A. 10963), a lot of changes have been happening and a lot of people don’t know what to do. For sole proprietors, like yours truly, I just take in and digest parts of the TRAIN LAW that is applicable to me. One of the things that is an option now is the opportunity to avail of a simpler 8% Income Tax Rate Option.

The BIR released Revenue Regulation or RR 8-2018 which details how the income tax changes as per TRAIN will be applied. Although it explains a lot of things, there are still things that are not explained thoroughly. According to the regulation, the 8% Income Tax Rate on Gross Sales/Receipts can only be availed by any self-employed individual whose gross sales/receipts for the year does not exceed P3,000,000 (aka the VAT Threshold).

Check out this video from Taxumo:

So should I choose the 8% Income Tax Rate Option?

Choosing the 8% tax rate option is simple because it’s a flat rate! No hassle, no computations 🙂

But for me, I actually did not choose this. But I have my own reasons, and these are:

    1. The Regulations said one thing but when I called my RDO, it seems they were not following what was on the RR. Case in point: RR No 08-2018 says: “If the taxpayer is unable to timely update the required registration, s/he shall continue to file the percentage tax return reflecting a zero amount of tax with a notation that s/he is availing of the 8% income tax rate option for the taxable year.” BUT, when I called my RDO, they said that for them (whatever that means), they don’t accept these forms filled out according to what the RR said.

  1. So two (2), I personally called BIR and asked what the process is to opt for 8% and the gave me the process (as seen below) BUT I personally don’t have time to do that (hahaha! again, it’s just me and my laziness!)
  2. And three (3), as an events coordinator, we have a lot of expenses. So, based on this calculator, I think the 3% plus income tax is still a better option for me.

So how do you tell the BIR that you’re opting for the 8% Income Tax Rate Option?

Step one: Go to your BIR RDO and bring your Certificate of Registration (COR) and a Letter of Intent. They will ask you if you haven’t gone beyond the threshold of Php 3 Million (They will also check your records and see if there are open cases, etc.)

Step two: Wait for them to release the new COR. It will not include “percentage tax” anymore. It will only show you that you need to pay for Income Tax and your yearly renewal. When do you get the new COR? Well, it really depends on how fast your Revenue District Office can release it.

It’s not that bad really and it’s very simple. I’m just lazy (haha!). After you receive your new COR, you can use Taxumo for filing taxes all throughout the year at just Php 250 per form. We just don’t have the rate yet for the 8% filing and the annual income tax filing, but we’re really affordable so you don’t have to worry about that part.

Please don’t forget to still file the first quarter Percentage Tax form for this year and just indicate zero filing. This is what the BIR Officers in different RDOs told me.

For opting in for the 8%, you need to update your COR before April 30, 2018. 

What else did I miss?

Oh, for the Quarter 1 Income Tax Return filing due in May, don’t forget to indicate that you’re “opting in” to avail of the 8%. If you miss indicating this in the form, you will have to file your Income Tax Returns using the Graduated Income Tax Table AND also file quarterly percentage tax returns. I’m not sure if you need to change your COR back again to indicate that you’ll pay percentage tax though, but it’s most likely that you will.

So that’s it! These are the things that I know about the 8% Income Tax Rate Option.

If you still want to talk about this, chat with us at https://taxumo.com

 

 

Last year, my daughter joined and worked as McDonalds Kiddie Crew! She had a grand time and she learned a lot! check out this video that we had for last year’s run!

She also got some swag that she still uses until now:

It’s that time of the year once again when you can send your kids to McDonalds. Last year, Zeeka got to take orders in the counter. She also got to say “hi” to customers at the drive thru counter. I think she also got to clean up tables and learned a McDonalds song!

Can you believe that it’s McDonalds’ 26th year for this program. So kids, ages 6-12 (or a little bit younger!), you can have your mommies and daddies bring you to McDonalds and experience all the fun things that Zeeka experienced!

The Kiddie Crew Workshop started on April 2, with various workshop schedules you can choose from. The weekday workshop runs for 5 days and each day lasts for 2 hours. This year, McDonalds added the new two-day weekend
workshops with 3 hours per session. Now, you’re sure to find a slot that will best fit you and your kid’s
summer activities!

So what are you waiting for? Enroll your kids in the McDonald’s store nearest you and give them an
unforgettable summer experience!To know more about the McDonald’s Kiddie Crew Workshop, visit
https://mcdonalds.com.ph/

I used to be a gym addict. I know that it doesn’t look like it. Haha! When I started working, lost my passion for fitness, and it was all diverted to my work. I never lost the love though for jogging and running. I still run, especially when I need to decide on things and if I need to relax.

Fitness Mobil

Recently, I’ve been contemplating about getting a fitness trainer who can just visit me at home to guide me. I’m not getting any younger and I’m almost in my 40s, but I still want to look good and feel good. I know that I need to lift weights and build muscles. So, when I was searching and finding a fitness trainer, I came across this site called Fitness Mobil.

I decided to interview the founder because the I loved the concept of Fitness Mobil.

Hi, my name is Leandro Cabrera!

My friends call me Andre, and my clients simply call me Coach. I recently got married to the most beautiful and kind-hearted woman I know, my best friend in life, Joy. We tied the knot just last January. I used to work in a gym, while offering in-home personal training on the side. About a year after, I saw the potential in the business, and eventually decided to take the leap of doing Fitness Mobil full-time. I now have 10 coaches all over the metro and was even able to ask my wife to leave corporate and help me with the business!

I am very humbled to have pioneered the business at the age of 23. Although in-home personal trainers have definitely existed way before I was born, we are the first company of in-home personal trainers. I wish to go nationwide someday and make fitness not only a one-time thing as it is with fads. We want to reach the entire country making fitness attainable AND sustainable for men and women from different age groups and fitness levels.

Interview with Leandro Cabrera of Fitness Mobil

Ginger: Hi Leandro! I really love the purpose and the business that you have! Do you mind sharing with my readers what it is about?

Leandro: Fitness Mobil is an in-home personal training company, which caters to individuals who are interested in working out at home. We are all about convenience and sustainabilIty such that we customize programs based on our clients’ fitness goals, bring the necessary equipment right to their doorstep, offer no lock-in packages and no membership fee. Fitness Mobil has been servicing clients in Metro Manila for 5 years now. It started with just myself and slowly grew to a team of 10 – all of whom are graduates of Sports Science from the University of the Philippines Diliman.

Ginger: Wow! Five years! That’s great! Who are your usual clients or who are you trying to get to?

Leandro: Fitness Mobil works for those who prefer to work out in the privacy and comforts of their own homes. We do understand that there are those who want a physical gym to go to with people around them, but we are received very well by those who want to achieve and maintain an active lifestyle, but are very busy. These are usually businessmen and women, moms and executives. They are delighted with the convenience of having the personal trainer bring fitness right to their very doorstep.

Ginger: How did you come up with this idea? What made you decide to start this kind of business?

Leandro: Fitness Mobil started with my desire to reach out to people who may be having a difficult time going to the gym due to their daily schedule and/or location. I myself had days, and still have days, when I don’t feel like working out. Some days, I really can’t due to schedule conflict. But to actually have a personal trainer come to my house for a one-on-one workout session would be so helpful in making fitness happen as it eliminates factors of cancellation. I also felt the need to start a company that people can trust since it is difficult for an individual who is not represented by one to be allowed inside people’s homes just like that.

Ginger: Were there any obstacles that you faced when you decided to pursue becoming an Entrepreneur? What are these?

Leandro: It was definitely not an easy road becoming an entrepreneur. The lack of support from a boss or colleagues, and even the freedom to work at my own pace, all added up to the feeling of being alone. I had to truly be focused and discipline was key. I had to actively seek advice from people who I knew could help me and took things one step at a time. It was difficult at first as I never was taught marketing in school (all the more payroll) but I’d like to think I’m actually starting to get a hang of it! Self-help materials played a very important role in my entrepreneur journey and it does help to ask, ask, and ask!

Ginger: What are the greatest challenges in putting up and maintaining a business in the Philippines?

Leandro: I’d consider paying taxes as the greatest challenge for me as a self-professional in the Philippines. Our country ranks as having one of the highest tax rates in the world and it is painful to finally see profit only to slip thru my hands as a huge percentage of it will be deducted as tax.

Ginger: What are three traits that you think an Entrepreneur/Startup Founder should have when starting their own business?

Leandro: Discipline, perseverance, and a lot of grit.

Ginger: Any unforgettable moments or lessons that you learned as an Entrepreneur/Startup Founder?

Leandro: It will not be easy and rewards are not instant. I remember giving up parties/get togethers with friends for my this business of mine. But looking back, it’s all worth it knowing that I chose to focus and build on my dreams then, so I am now able to slowly but surely see it all come true.

Ginger: What advice can you give to other Entrepreneurs?

Leandro: Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. If you have an idea and you believe in it, work in it! But expect that failure will be part of it.

Ginger: Do you believe that everyone should become entrepreneurs?

Leandro: Not everyone should, but everyone could be if they set their mind to it. Some people are content with the stability of employment and if it feeds their family, then I don’t see why they can’t stay there.

Ginger: What are ways that you can do to raise capital?

Leandro: Lower overhead costs.

Ginger: How do you market your products? Growth strategy?

Leandro: We utilize different channels of social media and get exposure in setting up booths in events like Fun Runs. We post reviews from real clients and offer a free trial session first so people can try our service without having to worry about paying for anything.

Ginger: What are tech tools that you use for your business?

Leandro: Nothing beats the good old smart phone!

Ginger: Other things that you want to mention which you think are important?

Leandro: Home training is not for everyone. It may work for some, and may not for others. It all depends on preference. And part of our mission is to break the mindset that limits fitness within the confines of a gym. Let’s think outside the gym!

Thank you so much, Leandro, for sharing and imparting your business knowledge with us! More power to you!

Check out Fitness Mobil!
Website: www.fitnessmobil.net
Email address: info@fitnessmobil.net
Mobile Number: 09178100211
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/fitnessmobil
Instagram account: @fitnessmobil

It’s summertime! Now that’s school’s officially over, moms like me are on the lookout for the best summer workshop for their kids.

Happily swimming in the pool

*Throwback to when Zeeka was a baby!!! 🙂

Summer workshops like arts and crafts, sports clinics, and music lessons are a great way for kids to explore their talents and skills while on break from school. It also helps develop kids’ resilience and confidence. And most of all, it improves their social skills and teaches them to learn life skills while gaining friends and having fun.

My little Zeeka is a natural in front of cameras. She loves singing and dancing, and her playful nature makes her so adorable. She even has her own Youtube channel and Facebook page where shoe does all things like review toys and tries mommy’s make up every once in a while.

Check out Zeeka singing here.

So every time summer comes, I try to expose her to different experiences to hone her talents, especially in performance arts.

And what better way to spend the summer than exploring her talents with Trumpets Playshop!

Trumpets Playshop was born as a product of TRUMPETS INC, the Philippine’s first Christian Theater company that has brought us beloved musicals like Joseph the Dreamer, The Little Mermaid, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, First Name, and The Bluebird of Happiness to name a few.

Led by Theater King, Audie Gemora, and business maverick Butch Jimenez, Trumpets Playshop aims to be TRUMPET INCs educational arm. Since 1993, Playshop has proven to be a home that kids of all ages return to each summer to discover and explore their talents in performing arts.

In twenty-five years, Trumpets Playshop has produced graduates that have made their marks in the local and international entertainment industry. These include teen icons Sam Concepcion and MTV VJ Tippy Dos Santos, and Asian pop superstars Christian Bautista and Karylle.

London’s West End has also seen the quality of Playshop alumni with talents such as Christine Allado who currently plays Peggy in ‘Hamilton’ and formerly Vanessa in ‘In The Height’. We also have two alumnae who played ‘Kim’ currently working alongside fellow Playshopper Red Concepcion, playing the role of ‘Engineer’ in the world-renowned musical, Miss Saigon.

Trumpets Playhouse also prides itself on their leaders and faculty who are now seen as leaders in the theater industry. Directors such as Jaime del Mundo and Freddie Santos, writers like Luna Inocian, Musical Directors like Rony Fortich, and choreographers like PJ Rebullida once called Playshop their homes and continues to be stalwarts of the institution.

To celebrate its 25th year, Trumpets Playshop decided to come full circle as it gathers all generations of Playshoppers. This year, they will be #ResoundingTrumpets and bringing back the old and celebrating the new with their upcoming workshops.

Trumpets Playshop will be conducting Children’s Theater for children 4-6 years old, and Children’s Musical Theater for kids 7-12 years old.

Teens aged 13 years old and above can also explore their talents and be guided by Trumpet’s brilliant staff and faculty with the Musical Theater Class.

Want to step it up a notch? Trumpets Playshop also has other classes you can enroll your kids into.

PLAYSHOP CREW

Toddler’s Hip-hop (4-6 years old) and Streetdance for Kids (7-12 years old with Dan Cabrera of Dance Royalties

Basic and Intermediate Hip Hop for Teens with Mike Arda of the A-Team (13 years and above)

PLAYSHOP POWER

Modeling led by Ms. Patty Betita and Public Speaking and Hosting by Ms. Kata Inocencio.

Because it’s their silver anniversary, Trumpets is also offering PLAYSHOP PREMIUM, where students will get acting lessons from renowned Theater Director, Jamie Del Mundo and audition techniques from the King of Theater himself, Mr. Audie Gemora.

Playshop will also be reviving one of its first classes, Sing and Dance, and introducing a new class for Mobile Photography alongside it.

Class begins on April 16 at three locations near you: The Shangri La Plaza Mall, Kidz City at SM Aura and at the Alabang Town Center.

Missed the registration? Onsite enrollment is also available.

So what are you waiting for? Sign up now and give your kids an awesome summer workshop experience they will never forget. Who knows, they might be part of Trumpet Inc.’s next production!

For class schedules, you may visit https://goo.gl/mcXHDF or call 901-4364, 818-1111 loc 254 or 0917-586- 4177.

Don’t forget to like and follow, and share TRUMPETS PLAYSHOP on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more updates and promos this summer.

See you there!