It’s amazing how technology works nowadays. Do you know that you can open bank accounts using your phone? I’m quite curious as to how these virtual banks operate.

“Virtual banks are similar to traditional retail banking services in that they will be able to accept deposits and give out loans. They aren’t expected to set up physical branches. Analysts at Citigroup estimate around 10 per cent of existing banks’ revenue is at risk over the next decade.” https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/banking-finance/hong-kong-starts-granting-licenses-for-virtual-banks

There are two known (as least what I know at this point in time) virtual banks in the Philippines. These are ING and CIMB. I will be trying both in the coming months. At this point, I really don’t have any preference, since I haven’t tried any of these.

Save Money With GCASH

Today, I found out though that GCASH partnered with CIMB. I, apparently, already have this new feature in GCASH called Save Money. And guess what? The money that you save here earns 2.3% interest, which is higher than what the your standard commercial bank offers.

The maximum daily withdrawal though is at Php 50,000 (still higher than the Php 20,000 withdrawal caps from ATMs and debit card transactions of some banks). The downside though is that the Maximum Deposit Limit is only at Php 100,000 over 12 months. I hope that they increase this limit to at least Pp 500,000.

Your money is also insured by the PDIC or Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation. Another advantage is that there is no need to maintain a minimum balance in your account.

So, how do you compute for the interest? Check this out. I got this from GCASH.

I just started depositing money mid this month, so let’s see how this goes. I love though how banks are not making it convenient, too, for people to save and invest money (not just to spend it).

With these tools, you can automate the way you save and forget that you even have those funds. Save it for a rainy day!

I remember one of my favorite books: The Automatic Millionaire. You can check out the gist of the book here:

Goodluck on saving! 🙂

I don’t know if I should be happy that I’m a mother in this particular generation. Haha! And I’m saying this because of the plethora of choices that are available to us. We have a lot of decisions to make when it comes to raising our children, especially on raising them to be healthy independent individuals who will contribute to society’s well being when they grow up.

And how do you measure that? How do we know if we are doing a good job as Moms or Dads? How do we know if our child is actually learning from us and picking up the right values? It’s not like as if a person can create a device that could measure if kids will grow up to be healthy and good citizens.

No one can give us a report on how our child is doing in LIFE. How I have learned to cope though is to make the informed decisions and wish for the best. Seriously! All these parenting stuff is just like starting a business. No one really knows if this new business is going to fly or fail, what matters is that we constantly keep trying our darn best.

This is the reason why, as a mom, I know I must learn new things. It’s not just for me, but it will be for the well being of my daughter, too. And these things that I need to learn will not always be about the highfalutin stuff like blockchain, investment vehicles, etc. It may also be as simple as what kind of shampoo should I have Zeeka (my daughter) use or what should I give her for snacks? Mostly, these will be decisions on simple stuff that will have an effect in the long run.

Recently, I got to witness moms who were just like me; Moms who wanted to know more about nutrition. These were the moms who joined the Let’s Build a Healthier World school tour of Lily’s Peanut Butter. Lily’s visited the students of St. John Paul II Academy Paranaque, Colegio De Sta. Cecilia in Valenzuela, Philippine Christian University Union Elementary School in Manila, Don Bosco Institute of Makati, Maranatha Christian Academy in Manila and Paco Catholic School in Manila. They made learning fun for the moms and kids, too, as they held a Lily’s Mom and Me Health Ambassadors challenge!

Lily’s chose 10 Mom-Kid finalists also advanced to the next level called the “Healthy Baon Recipe” contest in which they were given 10 minutes to prepare a nutritious snack using Lily’s Classic Peanut Butter, Lily’s Choco Peanut Butter, and Lily’s Crunchy Peanut Butter. The Grand winners from each school received Php 10,000 cash, plus Lily’s gift packs and an educational plant tour. All of the other finalists though received Php 2,000 cash, plus Lily’s gift packs and an educational plant tour at Lily’s production plant.

Because of the tour, these are the things that I learned about Lily’s Peanut Butter that will help me make an informed decision:

  • Do you know that Lily’s Peanut Butter has been in the Philippines for more than 60 years now?
  • Lily’s Peanut Butter is made from all natural ingredients! Nothing that could harm our kids.
  • It has iron, natural dietary fiber, natural potassium, natural protein, and vitamin E which are all essential for kids’ growth.
  • It contains brain-boosting vitamins and minerals that develop sharp memory and help kids reach their full potential

Zeeka wanted to us to decorate healthy dishes, too. I’m not half as creative as the moms during the school tours (haha! So please don’t judge!), but I took this as a teachable moment. We can teach our kids to choose only snacks that would boost our child’s health and brain development.

During our breakfast “activity”, I could talk to her about healthy food, and always making informed decisions. I told her that before buying things, she should research or get to to know more about the products and the brand first, before buying.

Also, it’s important to always have fun with your kids and bond with them no matter how busy you are.

Here are some snapshots from our own Lily’s Let’s Build A Healthier World Challenge (at home 😄)!

Our breakfast table!
*To check out the different variants of Lily’s, please visit this link: http://mylilys.com/products/
Zeeka spreading Lily’s Peanut Butter on her pancake!
Helping out the competition 😂
Both of us taking this challenge seriously! 😄 Making it hard for Daddy EJ to choose which healthy dish looks better!
My Creation! I used Lily’s Peanut Spread Lite!
Zeeka used Lily’s Classic Peanut Butter for her Creation!
And the winner was this Little Bunny! 🙂

It was a truly fun morning. I usually have a hard time making her stay at the dining table, but this morning was different! It was a stress-free, enjoyable morning with Zeeka.

For those who are wondering what Lily’s products we used, here are some of them:

Lily’s Classic Peanut Butter

This is the variant of Lily’s that I grew up with – Lily’s Classic peanut butter. It is made of all-natural ingredients and uses only high-grade peanut kernel.

Lily’s Peanut Spread Lite

This is my new favourite variant. The Lily’s Peanut Spread Lite is made with sweet Stevia extract!

Lily’s Crunchy Peanut Butter

I love food with texture. This variant has real peanut bits that you chew on!

Lily’s Choco Peanut Butter

A great snack for both adults and youngsters alike. The sweet and rich flavors of fresh peanuts and dark semi-sweet chocolate are generously combined to create this all-new premium spread.

Read more about the variants at the Lily’s Website: http://mylilys.com/ Lily’s is manufactured by Newborn Food Products Inc tel: 282-3462

So Moms and Dads, don’t worry too much about the decisions that you make as parents. Just learn more about things before making decisions, especially if these are decisions that will affect your children.

Also, let your kids decide on some things on their own, too. This breakfast activity is something that you could do with your child. Aside from talking to Zeeka about healthy food when we were doing the challenge, I let her decide on what she wanted to put on her plate.

Plus it’s good practice just in case you get to be one of the mom and child contestants in Lily’s School Tour this year. I heard that they’ll be visiting more schools this year, so stay tuned!

Don’t be too hard on yourself! Enjoy and be grateful everyday. As long as you heart is in the right place, you’ll be fine 😉

Remember when we only had one remote at home?

Back in the day, most houses only had one TV in the living room. Where ever the TV was actually, was the heart of the home. This is where family members would gather especially on Sundays and family days.

I remember my grandparents having everyone over especially during big events like boxing matches or NBA games. We would also rent movies from Video City and watch them with my parents, aunts and uncles during the weekend.

While it was fun to have family over, it’s somewhat irritating to lose control over what you wanted to watch.

I can’t recall how many battle royales started with who can get the remote. Sometimes we used diplomacy and discussed which channel to watch. At other times, it would end with petty fights or wrestling matches.

In the end, my grandmother would get irritated and just turn the TV off. And no one can turn it on unless she said so.

Television has had a strong impact on me growing up. My schedule as a child mainly revolved on what was on.

I remember rushing at home after school to watch Princess Sarah, Ang Munting Prinsesa. My sister and I would take turns playing Sarah and Becky. We would also tease each other about who looks like Miss Minchin.

You would know it’s 4:30 PM when ANG TV came on the screen. Who could ever forget their catchy opening scene?

Saturday mornings meant Looney Toons while having breakfast. And then there’s Captain Planet, She-Ra, Mr. Bogus, Denver the Last Dinosaur, and Gumby.

In the afternoon, there was Sailor Moon, Magic Knight Rayearth, Dragon Ball, Ghost Fighter, and X-Men.

Sailor Moon is a personal favorite. I loved the transformation and the girl power that it represented. And it was so awesome that we girls get to choose different characters based on our personalities.

We also had specials to look forward to every year. One of which is a horror special that every 90’s kid loved watching: Magandang Gabi Bayan.

I still remember getting chills watching Noli de Castro talk about people and their encounters with the supernatural.

Oh man, getting to the bathroom was really a challenge back then.

As a 90’s kid, our generation was the first to experience digital cable TV.

This gave us access to international shows like MTV and HBO. It also introduced us to US shows like Charmed, Seventh Heaven, and Gilmore Girls.

It also changed the way we viewed the world and the people living in it.

Discovery and National Geographic enticed us to go out, travel, and experience cultures all around the globe. The Food Channel made us curious about the tastes and textures of different destinations.

Looking back, I’d like to think that it helped boost my imagination. It also fired up my courage to be more experimental with my adventures. It became like a window that showed me what it was like beyond our borders.
That’s why I’m so excited about Globe’s newest product, Globe StreamWatch Xtreme.

The first of its kind in the world, Globe StreamWatch Extreme provides Filipino homes access to a new digital home entertainment experience.

It gives users clear access to free local TV channels. It also serves as an Internet TV with a million different shows, videos, and movies. And it gives you faster and stronger internet with twice the coverage of your ordinary pocket wi-fi device.

So why should you get one for your home?

As we know, the internet has changed the way we viewed entertainment. And with mobile devices, it gave us more options that suited our preferences.

We no longer need to fight over who gets the remote. We don’t need to wait for specific TV shows. With Youtube, Netflix, and other platforms, we can choose to watch any show whenever, wherever.

Unfortunately, not everyone has access to fast internet service providers. It can also be expensive and time-consuming to apply for higher speed rates.

Not to mention the monthly bills or contracts that bind you for 36 months.

Globe At Home provides an easier and more affordable solution that lets you and your family stay connected.

For an introductory price of PHP 2,999, you can get your own Globe StreamWatch Xtreme Prepaid anytime. Globe slashed off PHP 2000 off from the standard retail price as part of its commitment to providing Filipinos access to the best of what the world offers.

What do get with this?

  • Fast home internet, stronger signal, and a wider coverage powered by Globe LTE.
  • Free clear local TV channels that let you watch your favorite teleseryes and TV shows without eating up your data or load
  • Access to over 1 Million shows, videos, series, and movies anytime you want
  • Up to six devices connected to your Wifi all at the same time
  • A USB-ready port for playing media files from your USB
  • A videoke-ready device with two built-in microphone outlets as a bonus feature

Setting up Globe StreamWatch Xtreme is super easy. Check out this video below:

The best part? No monthly fees. No overdue bills. Just a whole new fun experience for the whole family and more.

Loading is also super easy. You can purchase load promos using your GCash account, Globe At Home APP, or through AUTOLOADMAX.

It can also serve as a good backup especially for freelancers who need to stay connected all of the time.

So how do you get yours today? That’s easy.

All you have to do is visit your nearest Globe store and ask about it. You can also visit Globe’s website and learn more about it here.

With Globe, it’s so much easier to #PlayItRight and stream the best entertainment for you and your family.

For more about Globe Telecom, visit www.globe.com.ph.


Let’s talk about Confidence and Influence: Photo by Elijah Macleod on Unsplash

Zeeka, my daughter, was dancing like crazy again last night. She has this habit of singing original songs with lyrics she invents. She then performs in front of her able and willing “audience”, which is no other than me and my husband, at least 2 times a week. Not an ounce of shyness or hesitation can be traced in her voice and actions.

She gave us singing lessons last night. And again, we had to comply when she said that we had to individually sing our own original songs. Of course, for the most part, me and my husband both giggled our way to the end of our song (and thought it silly to be doing this). Our 6 year old teacher was obviously disappointed and angry that we weren’t taking things seriously.

Confidence and Influence

I am amazed at the confidence of little children. This is something that led me to write about how can we, as bloggers, build confidence. First off, confidence is important in our line of work or in anything in life for that matter, since it leads to success. Having lack of confidence lead to doing nothing or inaction. Make sense, right?

When you are confident, you say yes to opportunities. You don’t let fear stop you from doing the things that you love doing and the things that you’re curious in trying. When you blog, your life is an open book for everyone to see. If you’re not confident enough, other people’s comments will affect you and may even affect your decisions.

I think it was apt to talk about confidence and influence in the same article, because if you want to influence someone, you yourself should be convinced by YOU. Dale Carnegie was right to link Confidence and Influence, but he talks about if from the point of view of public speaking. Let me write about though from the perspective of being a blogger.

Salespeople won’t be able to influence and close a deal if they themselves are not confident when it comes to explaining the product or service that they’re selling. In blogging, it’s the same thing. If you’re not convinced that people will read your blog post, then people will definitely not read it.

And persuading people or influencing people all boils down Aristotle’s Ethos, Pathos and Logos.

Ethos refers to the blogger’s character. And when reader’s read your blog for the first time, they “judge” you base on the filters that you use on pictures that you post, how many sentences are grammatically erroneous, your blog topics or what you love to write about, etc. All of these things. People are oftentimes looking for “someone” online — either to befriend, emulate, rekindle a relationship with, criticise, etc. So who are you to these people?

Pathos comes into the picture when the blogger uses emotions to influence an audience. The emotions that can use may be humor, pity, sadness, longing, happiness, envy (even), etc. People who have gone through a similar emotion or have experienced this emotion would likely read and follow your blogs. We know that we are rational creatures, but there are times that we make irrational decisions (I admittedly make lots of these! haha).

The last one is Logos or the use of reason. Sad to say, in influencing people, this is the least important. This is the reason why marketers, researchers, psychologists have tons of research about how people behave and act, because we often don’t act based on “logic and reason”. As my husband always says, we humans justify our decisions. Even if we make a wrong decision that puts us at harm, we still justify and give a whole list of reasons why we chose that.

So there you have it, aspiring and current bloggers. These are my own thoughts on confidence and influence. I hope that this post made you think about your own view on Influence. If you want to join the conversation, feel free to comment below.

By the way, we’re thinking of coming up with a blogging workshop. If you want to be invited to reserve a seat, feel free to fill this out: https://goo.gl/forms/JMUQ7PeAX4XHNBFn1

Thank you for the people who have already filled out the form! 🙂 You’ll hear from me soon!

Doing your taxes is probably one of the most frustrating things every working person does. Even the more veteran people, when it comes to taxes, would find it hard to do when they don’t prepare for it well. In the Philippines, tax computations are one of the things that a lot of people fear, just because of how stressful it can get.

That being said sooner or later, everyone will have to do their taxes as part of their lives. And for those first timers that have no idea how to do them yet, don’t fret, because if you start out early, you might find it easier to do in the future! Plus keep in mind that there are a lot of helpful websites and applications that make it easier for you to do your taxes! That being said, here are some of the most important things that every first-time taxpayer should know.

BIR Forms

There are many kinds of BIR forms that are dedicated solely to paying business taxes. For example, there are specifics forms applicable for self-employed individuals, employees of companies, and business owners. And there are forms that are to be used by Partnerships and Corporations.

It’s important that you know which one you should use so that you can fill out the right form and avoid penalties. Freelancers fall under self-employed individuals. We, freelancers, are considered non-licensed professionals. They, along with business owners who are sole proprietors usually do their own taxes. While people that are employed would usually have their companies do their taxes for them.

Documents Needed

There are as many steps to the processes as there are BIR forms. Haha! I may be exaggerating, but the what’s for sure is that the steps to be taken take a whole lot of time from a business owner’s day. On the average, a business owner in the Philippines takes 2 days in a month (according to a PWC and World Bank report on taxes) spent just complying with taxes. When starting a business, I highly recommend that one should at least be familiar with the 101s of preparing and submitting your own taxes.

A good example would be to know more about income tax returns. These are forms that need to be submitted as long as you are making some kind of income or receiving compensation. Income is basically your gross revenue less expenses and when you do this, you get your taxable income. This is the basis for your taxes (income tax return). A self employed individual submits and pays for income taxes every quarter (Form 1701Q), the fourth quarter being the “famous” annual income tax (Form 1701 or 1701A).

If you are employed (have a day job) and running a business at the same time, you are considered to be a mixed income earner. How do you report taxes? You will secure BIR Form 2316 from your employer at the end of the year and use the values there and combine it with the income / expenses from your business. You do this only for form 1701 or Annual income tax form.

If you need help in preparing tax form 1701 and 1701A, feel free to check out https://www.taxumo.com and check out their blog. They have useful information for everyone!

Payments

The final step is to print out all of these documents and pay for it at the Authorized Agent Bank (basically a bank that accepts BIR payments in the city of your business).

Please prepare 3 copies for all of your accomplished BIR Forms along with the required deposit / bills payment slip and your payment.

In some cases, you won’t be needing to pay anything, and that would entail a “No Payment” Situation. These include refundable/ creditable tax returns, returns with excess tax credit carry over, and returns that are qualified for a second instalment. These “no payment” transactions just need to be filed and stored together with the BIR confirmation via the eBIR Forms system.

Key Takeaway

This article detailed the very basics of what you need to know about taxes. In the Philippines. Tax computations are frustrating, however, as long as you prepare everything and do it as early as you can, you won’t have a problem with doing your taxes any time soon.

If you need help with understanding all of these still, just ask Taxumo.

P.S. I’m a co-founder of Taxumo, whose mission is to help people start and sustain a business! 🙂 Feel free to contact us!