February 26, 2010

Buying a Memorial Plan

Posted in personal, planning at 2:01 am by kimsan23

Dying is a fact of life….

When a person dies, it’s not just about ceasing to live and getting buried but also about preparations for a wake, getting permits, looking for a mortuary, buying a coffin, as well arranging a burial or cremation.  These processes cost money and could be quite expensive if spent on one at a time during the time a person dies.

The practical thing to do nowadays is to invest in a good memorial plan.  It doesn’t have to be a very lavish or expensive one, a simple one works too as long as all the basic services are there.

Last week, I bought a basic memorial plan to prepare for my own demise.  No, I do not plan to die soon— I just want to make sure that when the time comes, no one will have to worry about where to get the money for all my expenses as well as how to go about the various arrangements (permits, venue, religious services, cremation etc.)

I paid for a plan over 100k in full and am totally happy about the package I got.  The nice thing about the plan is that it starts earning money next year because I paid in full.  If I had paid in installments, it only starts earning after 5 years.

The plan comes with all basic mortuary services and a cash/insurance benefit as well.   There will be money for my legal heirs as well as enough for me to get any additional services like a cremation.

In short, the investment can grow and the great thing about it is also that I could sell or transfer the plan to absolutely anyone.   Selling the plan immediately guarantees an interest over what I initially paid.  Transferring it to a friend or family member ensures that they do not pay ridiculously high fees for funeral/mortuary services.

Of course, buying the plan put a huge dent in my savings but hey it’s considered a good investment, one that also earns over time and will relieve your loved ones of having to panic if and when it’s your time.


January 25, 2010

A review of 2009 Goals

Posted in personal, planning at 9:45 pm by kimsan23

Last 2009, I made a list of actual financial, career and business goals.  Here is what actually happened to those:

1. Find more freelance work to earn more:

2009 did not bring me a lot of freelance work, just a few engagements since I was very very busy!

  • managed to teach a few more self defense classes and make some money out of those
  • did a few interviews for radios and research projects (LGBT related work) which did pay a some fees (quite unexpectedly)
  • a bazaar that I joined.  we were able to make a good profit out of selling stationery and handmade notebooks.
  • few baking orders came in as well but were not enough.  I also  made a bit selling my father’s Siopao.

2.  Close a book writing contract

  • FAIL!  (wasn’t able to do this–the book I revised and edited in the end of 2008 won’t be printed til the moddle of this year.)

3. Close another book editing/revision job

  • FAIL!  (wasn’t able to do this–the book I revised and edited in the end of 2008 won’t be printed til the moddle of this year.)

4. Manage to open a “Paglingap” time deposit through work

  • Didn’t do this as the risk was a bit too high.  However, I was able to open a new bank account in GE Money Bank!  It’s growing and doing pretty well.  In relation to bank accounts,  my BDO time deposit will be on it’s second year this April.

5. Get more involved in sports activities

  • I got myself into boxing starting July 2009.  It’s a great hobby and I’ve lost a bit more than 10 pounds since I started.  I am continuing that this year.

6. Get more training for professional growth

  • Just Six Sigma…nothing else.  So I consider this a FAIL!

7. Pay off car

This one is tough but I was able to successfully pay every month of the year without fail. One year and 9 months more to go!

I am hoping that 2010 will be a bit more dynamic in terms of being able to augment my income a bit more.  My 1 million goal doesn’t seem too far off anymore– specially when I look at how I am doing in terms of savings.    Still, there has to be a way to make things go faster!

For the record, this my blogs’ 3rd year…and I have not given up.

January 5, 2010

Welcome 2010!

Posted in personal, planning at 3:31 am by kimsan23

Welcome 2010!

As part of my New Year’s list of resolutions, I have decided to update this blog more frequently than just once a month.  I even missed November and December due to a lot of pre, during and post holiday stress.

I’d like to thank my readers for staying on despite my inability to update often.  2010 will be a much more informative year for everyone as I further document my progress.

In a nutshell, the whole 2009 was a  difficult year.  The recession in the US caught up pretty quickly with us as seen in the rise in gasoline prices.  Despite that, my finances were stable but I put money in the wrong places at the start of the year (technically, Dec. 2008).  Right now, I have yet to collect off some debts someone owes me and it’s tough!  I could have had more money if I didn’t invest in a car sales business.  Well at least they are paying me little by little but it’s still a debt.  The food business idea tanked, it was actually “awarded” to someone else– therefore I stopped getting customers– for the reason being I won’t gain from it (financially).

On the upside, my liquid assets have increased and I am almost halfway to my goal.  Whew!  If it weren’t for so much car maintenance I had to pay for this year (total at about 20k), I’d be a bit richer.  Towards the end of the year, I got into a stationery making business.  I sold notepads of different shapes and sizes as Christmas giveaways.  That brought in a few thousands but still not enough.  That small venture is actually inspiring me to open a stationery, card making, handmade notebook business instead.  On the other had, investing in putting up a net cafe is also appealing to me.

This year brings a lot of promise and I am also hoping to add some more business options to my money making menu.

2010 future highlights:

  1. Start a business center (fax, e-mail, PC rental, photocopy, risograph services)
  2. Start a net cafe
  3. Continue selling stationery
  4. Launch a recording artist (won’t say who yet)
  5. Produce an album of Christmas songs (by a composer friend of mine)

I’m doing a lot of this on my own or with a few close friends.  I just really want to make sure I make the best choice/s possible.  So for each item, I have decided to make a checklist which will outline the following:

  1. Capital needed
  2. Resources needed
  3. Income per month
  4. ROI after 3, 6 9 and 12 mos.
  5. Other risk factors

I know it looks like a short list but having put up a business before, this list extends into a lot of other mini lists not to mention some additional items I may have to add.

Scarily though, my Feng Shui reading looks promising for 2010.  It says that I will find the quick pace of 2010 very much to my liking and will be keen to look for new possibilities and opportunities. I must make use of all the openings and opportunities that present themselves during this year. Teamwork will feature strongly and I will progress further and faster in my career if I bear this in mind. My financial situation will be promising and good during 2010 with a possible increase in income as well as a sum of money coming to me during the year. I must be careful to be disciplined about spending and not make too many impulse buys!  May, September and November see the most interesting career changes.  In other readings, it does say that I need to work doubly hard to reach my goals and that I may want to pursue studying this year as well.  Work doubly hard?  I already work like an Ox!  And studying is a bit out of the question but I can’t deny that I have received some very strong suggestions regarding pursuing further studies.  I am a firm believer in doing big things and making big decisions one at a time.  At this point, I don’t think I can quit my job to study.  And if you think I could study AND work…well not at this office.

Still, no matter what my horoscope says, I am determiend to experience a windfall of luck this year.


October 2, 2009

Excuse me? (an update on relief efforts)

Posted in personal at 9:02 pm by kimsan23


I recently got a comment in my moderation queue that said “I hate spammers and opportunists.” and marked my post as “Spam.”

Just to make things clear, this website is soliciting for typhoon victims and nothing else.  All in all, this website has donated 100 packs of toiletries (containing shampoo, bath soap, laundry soap and toothpaste) to an evacuation center in Cainta where there were 100 families stranded due to Typhoon Ondoy. We also helped in the relief efforts of Akabayan by helping make sandwiches and pack food items for typhoon victims.

We are all doing our part in helping out people who were affected by the typhoon.  People who make harsh judgments or crass comments are not at all any help to these causes.  Whoever you are (you didn’t even leave your real e-mail address), I hope you have done your part in helping out.

There’s your webmaster in the red cap wrapping sandwiches in Akbayan.

Additionally, here are  more tips from Bayanihan Online :

Your Typhoon Survival Kit

October 1, 2009, 2:29 PM

Filed under: Survival

Being prepared is always one step towards survival. Here are some things that we think is important to have during times like these. Prepare them beforehand and keep them in a safe place at all times. Better yet, keep them with you, or in an area that is easy to reach and won’t get in the way of raging floods, etc.


1. Clean drinking water. Good enough for a week. Consider having at least 1 gallon per person per day.

2. Other drinks. Consider: juices in packs, carbonated drinks, coffee.

3. Food. Also good enough for a week. Consider:

* Snacks that are easy to store and carry (biscuits, cookies)

* Non-perishable canned food (corned beef, tuna, pork and beans, vienna sausage, etc.)

* Candies to maintain sugar in body and keep acidity at bay

* Bread that will last for a few days, for carbo load

* Instant noodles, if you have the means to cook

* IMPORTANT: food for babies and the elderly if you have them staying with you

4. Food utensils.

* Spoons, forks, knives, paper plates, drinking cups

* Non-electric can opener

* Cooking stove and fuel, if possible

* Plastic bags

5. Medicines. Consider having medicines for the following:

* Fever and nausea

* Coughs and colds

* Hypertension

* Diabetes

* Diarrhea

* Anti-tetanus

* Anti-leptospirosis

* Other prescription drugs that you need to take

* Also include asthma inhalers with extra nebules and other asthma medicines

6. First Aid kit. Must contain band-aids, gauze, tweezers, alcohol, antibiotic ointment, hydrogen peroxide, bandage scissors, absorbent dressings, antiseptic wipe packets, cold compress, gloves and thermometer.

7. Sanitation kit. Make sure that you have tissue wipes, toilet paper, sanitary napkins, diapers.

8. Toiletries. These include toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap.

9. Blankets, towels, comforters, pillows. You can put them in large garbage bags to keep from getting wet.

10. Extra clothes and underwear. Put them in plastic bags to avoid from getting wet. If you can, pack something that will last you for a few days.

11. Jackets, sweaters, socks, caps. And anything else that will keep you warm and dry.

12. Emergency lights and flashlights.

13. Fresh batteries. Have reserves for batteries of different sizes, especially for radios and flashlights.

* “Ideally batteries should be advanced lithium or lithium so they have a longer shelf life….but the new Energizer Advanced is good enough to last a lot of long usage compared to Energizer Max batteries….” [via Comments]

14. Radio. Must be portable, battery operated, has functional AM station.

15. Mobile phone. Make sure the battery is fully charged, and that you have a spare one, too, in case of emergency. Also consider walkie-talkies.

16. Cash. Banks and ATMs might not be available so make sure that you have cash with you.

17. Keys. Have copies of keys to the front door, back door, garage, car keys, etc.

18. Items for pets. Consider also having a leash, muzzle, cage and food for your pets.

19. Umbrellas and tents

20. Water pails and dippers

21. Floatation devices like life jackets, styrofoams, old tires, etc.

22. Rope

* “I advice against tying family members together on a rope…if one member is swept away then the others will be pulled as well unless one person has super human strength….the rope should be attached as a guy line to guide members or as an escape line from high structures…” [via Comments]

23. Plastic whistles

* “Fox 40 whistle is available here in the RP…definitely loud.” [via Comments]


Many people have died trying to go back for these things, so it’s important that you are well-prepared already at this point in time. Keep these documents in a water-proof container:

1. Birth certificates

2. Insurance records

3. Medical records

4. SSS, Pag-ibig and Philhealth records

5. Identification cards

6. Passports

7. Bank account numbers and records

8. Emergency contact numbers (i.e. NDCC hotline numbers, PNP, etc.)

9. Contact numbers of family, friends and loved ones

It is important that you have an ID with you wherever you go. Also, a list of people to contact in case something happens to you. If you can, put your emergency contacts on speed dial.

If you have more suggestions, please leave them in the comments section.

Updated as of 2 October 2009, 9:14 AM.

October 1, 2009

Calamity Strikes – Help needed!

Posted in personal at 12:35 am by kimsan23

Hi all!  I know that this post is supposed to be about something else however, given the current situation in Manila, Philippines, I’d like to take this chance to ask for help for my countrymen who were totally stripped of their belongings.

Just a backgrounder, last weekend, Typhoon Ondoy (International name: Typhoon Ketsana) hit Metro Manila Philippines with a lot of rainfall which flooded several major cities and housing subdivisions/villages.  Many of my co-workers were affected by the floodwater as high as 20 feet.  Some of them were stranded on the rooftops of their homes for 24-48 hours without food or water until the water subsided enough for them to go to relocation points and relief centers.

In response to the growing need for supplies like canned food, rice, drinking water, toiletries (soap, shampoo, toothpaste, tooth brushes), medicines (iodine, bandages, paracetamol, antibiotics, vitamins etc.)  and linens (towels, blankets and bedsheets) – My First One Million Pesos will be accepting donations through an address in Mandaluyong City (or we can pick up at your place).  You can also donate any amount to Paypal (but we prefer goods).

If you can spare anything from your cupboard, medicine cabinet or stock of linens and old clothes, please e-mail me or leave a message for the drop off address and/Paypal ID.

We appreciate every little bit of help.


We will be accepting donations of all kinds up to October 13, 2009.

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