This morning, I was watching the interview of David Letterman of Tina Fey on Netflix. Tina Fey is someone I look up to. What she does is not easy, and clearly, you need to be smart to create funny and (yet) deep comedy sketches that would serve a purpose. I would say that it would take me leaps and bounds before I could accomplish what she has accomplished. This is most definitely true also for the other entrepreneurs that I look up to. Looking at their lives, it seems so unfathomable to accomplish what they have accomplished.

So, i’ll just go back to my own little shell and strive to accomplish what I can accomplish. Looking at my life, and basing it on my own standards, I think I have done quite well for myself. I have a life that I love, businesses that give me the feeling of fulfilment and of course, a family that I love being with every single day.

This weekend, I was tasked by the CEO (coincidentally my husband; we are all tasked to come up with this) to come up with my life/career goals for the next 5 years. As I stared at my laptop and while trying to create columns to prettify my presentation, I couldn’t think of anything to place inside the table I created. I don’t know why I’m having such a hard time. I usually just dash away and write goals for myself like crazy.

All I could think of were two things — one is to save up for Zeeka’s tuition fee for next year and the other was to pay off my credit card debt. Both of these things were certainly goals, but they weren’t goals for myself. Well, okay, obviously these are responsibilities that I had, but it bothered me why I couldn’t think of goals that were specifically for myself.

I used to be so sure of what I wanted 3, 5 or 10 years from now. Now, I feel that I just want to get by and survive the year.

It may be because now, I’m more mature. MAYBE. I know that success doesn’t come overnight or even in a year. Success for me is doing small things that lead up to small changes that lead to bigger responsibilities that lead to a higher purpose.

I always wanted to help people create their own businesses. I always wanted to help people realize their full potential and be happy with how their life and careers or businesses are going. And based on personal experience, it takes time for this to happen. We (all including me) just have to be patient. Going back to my purpose of helping, that will take even a longer time for me to achieve.

And in terms of success, I don’t even know how to define that for me. My personal definition of success is happiness. So since this is my definition of success, can I write down continue to be happy as a personal goal? The businesswoman inside of me is urging me to write more SMART goals. Specific – how do I become more specific when it comes to happiness? Measurable – do we have levels of happiness? Actionable – Yes, I think this is actionable! Being happy is a choice. Realistic – it is! Time Bound – I need to constantly choose to be happy every single day!

I apologize for rambling. But I’m not sure if I should create more goals for myself. Or is it okay to be content with this kind of life that I have? Is being happy everyday an “enough” goal? 🙂

How about you? Are you clear with what your goals are?

We women play a lot of roles in our lives. We are mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, friends, partners, business owners. And each role is meant to nurture other people and take care of their needs.

Oftentimes, we think of other people’s needs that we forget to take care of our own. And it takes a toll on us eventually.

I know how it feels. Running a business and a home at the same time is not a menial task. There will be times when you have to sacrifice your time and your happiness just to make sure everything is well.

That’s why I think it’s necessary for women to take time off for themselves and realize their worth so they can share their gift to the world.

Jewels Conference 2018 is an awesome event I’m excited about. It’s a one day event that seeks to empower women in their personal journeys of balancing their roles, careers, relationships, and dreams.

This year’s theme, RADIANCE, will speak to women of their worth and how they are meant to shine and bless the world with their gifts. Women attendees can look forward to life-changing talks from women of strength and character, empowering fellowship, and a whole day of learning and appreciating the beauty of womanhood.

Speakers of hope and inspiration include Rissa Singson-Kapweng of Kerygma Magazine, Sr. Eppie Brasil of Regina Rica, TV personalities Dimples Romana and Ai Ai De Las Alas, worship leader Veia Lim-Vinas, and of course, Bo Sanchez.

Here’s a quick video of what to expect in this year’s event:

https://www.facebook.com/JewelsConference/videos/2049370892003315/

So who can attend?

  • The young professional who needs to take a break from work.
  • The college student who needs focus and direction.
  • The solo mother who needs to conquer her fears.
  • The mother who wants a simple time-off to pamper herself.
  • The leader who seeks more inspiration for her team. 
  • The grandmother who wants to see the beauty of the present time.
  • The single lady who needs strength and patience in her waiting.
  • The wife who’s praying for a fulfilling marriage. 
  • The expectant mother who’s asking for strength for her future family.  
  • The woman battling sickness, praying for healing and a miracle. 
  • The widow who’s praying for comfort and strength.

And to every woman who’s looking for a safe place and an overflow of hope and inspiration to see the beauty of life once again—the Jewels Conference is for you.

It’s easy to forget how awesome we are as women, so take the time to celebrate the beauty of womanhood and rediscover the power of your true self at Jewels Conference 2018!

Make it a girl’s day out and invite the women in your life that inspires you to be better. Have a post-mother’s day celebration and bring your mama tribe and your soul sisters with you. Attend with your sisters, your aunts, your cousins, and your best friends and let your beauty and your light shine.

The best part about it? You also get to help more women just by attending. Jewels Conference 2018 is also supporting ministries and foundations working to help women rebuild themselves. These foundations include Grace To Be Born Maternity Home and Nursery, a halfway house for unwed mothers and an orphanage, and Jeremiah 33:6-7 Foundation, a home for sexually abused teenagers.

This years event will be held on June 2, 2018, at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City, Manila. And part of the proceeds of the conference will be given to these foundations in support of their causes.

Be blessed and let your radiance shine bright! Get your tickets today (May 10) and take advantage of their early bird rate here.

For more information, you can also visit their website at http://www.jewelsconference.com/.

Hope to see you there!

My family is fond of California cheese. I especially love grilled cheese sandwiches that we prepare on lazy Sunday afternoons when we’re at home.

That’s why I make sure to try different types of cheese every now and then to make our meals extra special.

But did you know that there are about 1831 types of cheese all over the world? In France alone, there are 365 variants that you can choose from. This means you get to try one type of cheese every day of the year. And that doesn’t even count other popular cheeses from Italy, Spain, Switzerland and the US.

One of my favorite brands in the market is Real California Milk Cheese. What I love most about them is the huge variety of popular cheese that they offer at an affordable price.

Real California Milk is among the line of dairy products of the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB). They represent California’s more than 1300 dairy farm families who create different varieties of cheeses. And today, over 50 cheesemakers are producing more than 250 varieties of cow’s milk cheeses that carry the Real California Cheese seal.

CMAB cheese expert Joe Baird says that California cheeses are packed with natural flavors that make dishes stand out. Cheese has natural umami flavors that make food more delicious for our palates.

There are different types of cheese that you can use for your cooking needs.

Hard cheeses like Dry Jack, Parmesan, and Cheddar are great for cooking and baking because they can withstand higher cooking temperatures.

Soft and soft-ripened cheeses like ricotta and mascarpone are best for mixing in with desserts like custards and souffles.

Semi-hard, smoked cheeses add a nice kick and enticing aroma to any meal, especially on salads. Aged cheeses, on the other hand, have sharper tastes, longer shelf life, and make awesome additions to soups and stews.

The CMAB also offers a wide variety of dairy products you can enjoy from ice cream, yoghurt and yoghurt drinks, and butter. So if you want dairy items produced by healthy, happy, and well-fed cows from family farms, all you have to do is look for the Real California Milk seal.

Last year, I had the chance to learn how to make homemade cheese and butter with “The Cheese Dude,” Mark Todd. And since we drink Real California Milk at home, Zeeka and I had so much fun doing recipes at home. Zeeka made some milk shakes and I did some quick homemade butter and queso blanco.

Read more about how to make your own butter at home here.

Try out these simple and awesome recipes that you and your family will surely love!

California Cheddar and Bacon Waffles

Grilled Cheese with Tomato Dipping Sauce

Check out this awesome dip recipe made that goes perfectly with veggies.

California Protein Dip and Veggie Skewers.

Craving for dessert? See this simple recipe.

California Butter Cookies

Having guests over? Create an impressive cheese board without the fuss. Here are some quick and easy tips on which cheeses to add to yours.

The best part is, most of their products are available in leading supermarkets near you, like S&R, Robinsons Supermarket, and SM.

To learn more about Real California Milk and other dairy products made with Real California Milk, visit their website at www.realcaliforniamilk.com. You can also follow Real California Milk on Facebook for more recipe ideas.

Do you have easy and amazing cheese recipes? Share it below!

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