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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Parents Blamed For Children's Misbehavior?

It bothers me so much when children are exploited. and who's to blame? The parents of course.

Take the case of Miley Cyrus - that sweet girl from Disney's Hannah Montana. My gosh, she's a role model to my daughter, and to millions and millions of her fans. But what do you find her in? An almost porn pose in Vanity Fair. And she's only 15!

What do I have against her parents? Oh just that THEY SHOULD BE SUPERVISING WHAT THEIR DAUGHTER IS DOING! Children are children. They will make mistakes and yes, we should let them make mistakes. But not the ones that can cause them trauma. Like I always say, parents should be their child's ally no matter what.

I sure hope somebody does something about that issue.

So, now I'm asking my daughter to watch other shows she likes. I would prefer Hillary Duff.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sounding the Alarm on Global Warming

I've read someone's article that said "global warming is a global concern that needs a global action". I absolutely agree. Al Gore's call for cooperation in his film "The Inconvenient Truth" has to be spread to every corner of the earth and to every person whether man or woman, child or adult, rich or poor.

The effects of global warming is already being felt everywhere. Here, in our city, the weather is changing like crazy. It's the summer and yet we have occasional rain which has not happened before. What's worse is the heat - it gets so hot on some days too. No wonder a lot of people are getting sick. It's the drastic change of weather that causes it.

Let's do something about Global warming, shall we? We have a few more years to be able to let the earth recover. Really, just a few more years.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Refinancing - Doing Business With A Heart

Can you do business while helping other people? This one does. Take for example their mortgage refinance program that they give out at a low rate. When you let someone borrow money but burden them with high loan rates, you make the people miserable.

We had an experience with financing. The home loan we got was payable in 15 years with an annual interest of about 16%. It grew to be so burdensome that my husband decided to pay off the loan right away and not to renew it. Instead of helping us out, we found it harder to raise the money to pay off our debt. is a business with a heart. Their interest rates are low enough to keep you almost burden free when paying your loans. Right from their website, you can check what home loan is most suitable to your need and budget.

What I like about is that you practically get all of the information that you need to know when considering to refinance your home. If the information cannot be obtained right away, they have a form for you to fill out so that they may be able to get back to you with the right answer to your query. The website has loan rates applicable on a day to day basis so you can actually predict when you should borrow.

The company has been featured over several popular media such as Fox Busines, MSNBC and the New York times to name a few. Their prompt and able service coupled with low rates make them stand out among the rest.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Investing on Swim Gears

As a nurse, I normally advice people to take swimming as a form of exercise. It offers the most extensive workout with less chances of trauma to the body.

My daughter has been under training with the Flying Dolphins Team since last year. She has scoliosis and that sport will be good for her. We used to buy an expensive brand of swimsuits and gears. Lately, the members of the team have one by one changed their swim attires to the long sleeved ones. Naturally, Ikee wanted one too. I, on the other hand, have also agreed for her to buy one of those because it will protect her from the harmful UV rays. But, then again, we just bought one swimsuit for her lately.

Fortunately, we discovered a store in Makati. Just last Wednesday, we bought for her a wet suit (it is used for swim training and diving too), a pair of aqua socks (for her fins), and a long sleeve top. All these we got at the price of just one swim suit and we're so happy about it. Now, I'm thinking of buying some stuff from there and selling it at just a little higher than the price at the store. They have discounts for bulk purchases so that might be a good venture. One problem though is that there's only 1 more month left in the summer break. So, it might not be practical to do the business now. Maybe next year.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

My First Ever VT Meet

I've been a member of the for a little over 2 years now. Today I met some of my VT friends when I attended my first VT meet held at the walled city, Intramuros. VT member Barbskie is in town and as a tradition, vters of Manila gathered to meet her.

It was fun. I never thought it could be. When you meet your internet friends who you've been chatting with for the longest time, it adds some premium on your friendship with them. What's more is that we rediscovered Intramuros together.

Have you met some of your virtual friends yet?

Friday, April 18, 2008

Are You Getting What You Pay For From Taxicabs?

Yesterday, I brought my daughter to the Medical City Hospital for her regular check up with her Orthopedic Surgeon. There wasn't any direct transportation from my place to there so we hailed a cab. It was 36 degrees outside and I expected the cab to be cool when we got in. But no. It was about 30 degrees inside. Of course I politely asked for him to put ther airconditioning's temperature lower and make his blower a little stronger. He refused and said that his airconditioning unit would break down should he do so. Because of that, I asked him to let us go down just shortly after.

What's happening to the taxis and other transportation here in Manila these days? I mean you're charged higher because of the premium placed on service for a comfortable ride and they refuse to deliver that to their customers. that particular cab was not the first one. There had been others who do not care whether their clients are already bathing in their own sweat. The fx and buses are the same. There are fx whose airconditioning can hardly be felt and whose seats barely have cushions anymore. Some buses pack in riders so tightly when their airconditioning isn't strong enough to make a few passengers comfortable. The bottomline is that the commuters who pay are the ones who suffer.

The Land Transportation office , the LTFRB together with the Police Force and the MMDA should be able to fix this. Perhaps an ordinance or an administrative order should be made to take care of the poor paying passengers of Metromanila. Give us what is due. We pay for a comfortable ride, and we should be able to get it.

I've just been to hong kong, macau and zhuhai and I can say that one of the reasons their tourism is booming is because of their public transportation. I wish we could have that here too.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

How Did You Take it The First Time Your Daughter Went Out With Her Friends

We Filipinos are known to be so protective of our children. Oftentimes, it is misinterpreted as being control-freakish.

For the really protective type, hearing a daughter ask permission to go on a four-some will sort of create a little panic. But not for me. I've conditioned myself a long time ago that sooner or later she'll have to learn to do things on her own. That includes going to the mall with her friends. But I was worried with her dad. He was not the type who'd let her daughter explore on her own. He was jittery the first time I asked her to go to her Kumon center by herself and it is barely a kilometer away from the house. As for myself, I was worried when he let her cross the street the first time. Hehehe I guess that's how it is for only-childs.

To my surprise, neither of us gave a grim reaction to her proposal. She was going to the mall and all I asked were "when" "what time" "who's going" and then the "ok" came after it. Her dad just said "poor you. why did they ask you to buy them starbucks?" and he instructed her to withdraw money from her account and he'd just pay her after.

Really, from experience and from observing other friends, the more we parents prevent the children from doing something, the more they go against our will. We should just learn to let them discover and just guide them when they do. I believe that is the hardest part of it all, huh?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Plight of the New Philippine Nurses

You go through 2 years of general education, work your way to reach internship, spend another 2 years and 3 summers for internship, graduate, review for the board and pass it. That's heaven to most nursing students. But that's not it. After you get registered, you sit at a corner of the house and look for work or maybe spend hours, days, months or even years with the internet trying to get a job. While all the news around you says that nurses are needed in every corner of the world, those same countries ask for so much experience that the new nurses wouldn't naturally help. What's worse is that in your own country, noone wants to take you in either? What are we supposed to do?

Lately, I've read that Canada needs Filipino nurses. Why Filipinos? Because in all those countries that are knowledgeable in the English language, Filipinos are the cheapest labor force they can find. But somewhere in their requirements page they'd need a 1125-hour experience over the last 5 years(although for some provinces this not needed yet). For the US, most states need a 2 year experience. In Singapore, at least 1 year experience. I was told that in Dubai you just have to be a board passer. That is good news for those who would like to consider going there.

The bottomline is that it seems that the Philippines is really going to be drained of the experienced nurses if the same requirements will continue to be observed. I'm sure the government can intervene. Why not just ask those countries to hire the new nurses at a lower rate perhaps? They wouldn't really mind after all the salary should be commensurate to the experience that one has.

Another option is for nurses to be asked for different trainings which they should undergo over and above their diplomas and board ratings? These trainings that the nurses take should account for something right? It is an additional learning for them which makes them go up the ladder of the nursing career path.

I mean if someone needs you, shouldn't you have a say on the negotiation table? A contract is 2 sided - the employer's and the employee's.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Teach in China

I was at one forum lately and one of the topics was whether it is good to teach in China. One person said the salary that one gets is more than enough to live on and even save. Now that we're here in Zhuhai, China, I think he is correct. We don't know how much the cost of living is but even as tourists, it is really cheap here. You can actually live on the equivalent of 2 USD of food per day. We're of course talking about coming here as a contract english teacher. The average salary is about 1,800 USD and some packages even have board and lodging incorporated. It's a matter of negotiating with the employer. What's not so good here though is that they have an almost zero knowledge of English. If you think about it, that's why they're hiring English teachers. That's good. What makes it bad is that you are hardly understood so you usually end up not getting what you want. It's not without a solution. Learn basic cantonese and you'll get around well enough to survive here.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Best Way to Teach A Child

The other day, as I was looking for our way to the Hong Kong Museum of History, I noticed that my daughter was looking at it too and was giving us directions already. Not that I didn't like being told by her, I was just surprised that she now knows how to read maps. In fact, she gave us directions going to some of the places we would have to go to. This is her first trip to the city. Not only that, she is able to eat different cuisines, able to adjust to most situations.

How did this happen? The trick really are: 1, to practice what you preach and 2, to let the children try things on their own. Well, for one, she knows that I always plan our trips and we would be able to go out on our own without any guide because of maps which I normally purchase right the very moment we get to our destination. I would show her the map and tell her where and why we should go this way or that. Then she'd be practicing her skill afterwards although we would end up getting lost of course just like we would when I sometimes make mistakes (hehehe).

As for practicing what you preach, when I tell her to eat her vegetables or drink her milk, for instance, I make sure she sees me do those too. We expose her to different things and situations as much as possible so that she learns and appreciates the lessons we give her. When caught in situations where she gets confused, we explain them to her and let her see the difference. One day she came home from school. As she brought her bag down she told me about something that happened that day. With a tone of disgust, she said "Mom you know what? I asked my classmates why they were shouting at each other everytime they would like to talk. They're just one seat apart." "Well, baby, that's their culture. You have to respect them as they are. but do not say they are correct by doing the same thing that they do. Remember you are you because of what you do, think and say. " I guess she understood because she received a deportment award this year.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Worry Free Living

It's the summer season and kids are out of school. It is the time to go to the beach, take a break and relax. But it is also the chance to go to the doctor and the dentist to have the whole family checked. I have been doing that for the past 3 years and that's when I discovered that my daughter has scoliosis and that her allergies are that bad. But, because we went there is a great chance for her to improve her health.

But, even if we would like to go, what prevents us from going to the check ups are the costs involved. Having a medical insurance costs very high these days. Not only that, they try to control what the patient may have or undergo. Like for instance, my daughter needed to have an allergy test to identify what food or substance she is allergic to. Unfortunately, our HMO did not allow it so we ended up paying for the test which was rather costly.

To address this problem, some health companies have sprung up. One of them is the Ameriplan Dental and Health Company. These guys not only cost lesser, they attend to all of your health concerns. Ameriplan is a great alternative to the health insurance companies. Why? Because like I said they can let you take your whole family's health problems to them at a fraction of the cost. What's great for me is that they let you go see the dentists. My present HMO does not and it happens to be one of the biggest here. Did I mention they even have a chiropractor?

By the way, Ameriplan is also a great work from home opportunity. I think I'll sign up with them.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Children Do Learn What They Live

Yesterday I received an e-mail from my brother which has the sample of my nephew's song for the a TV product commercial in Japan. He's 11 years old but already has gotten several offers. The other day, I was told by my daughter's teacher that she is an academic awardee for this school year and will receive it during the Scholar's Convention tomorrow. Such talented kids. Did they just happen to be like that by chance? Maybe. Maybe not.

You see, I do believe that children grow up to become whatever they have been accustomed to. For Ikee, we had plenty of books for her and had read to her from the time she was conceived. Her trips to the mall which were almost every weekend included a stop to the bookstore. I have, for the longest time, been buying books of varied topics and she has so far been addicted to reading that she reads practically anything. Apart from being a reader, she also shares my own "advocacy" for caring for the environment.

My nephew on the other hand has been taught to sing and has been singing since he was 2. His first lessons came from my brother who plays the guitar and sings as well. We have the talent running in our family but noone has ever gotten this far. I'd post a sample of his songs but his dad wouldn't allow me.

What's the lesson here? Well, it is that whatever you expose any child to will sooner or later be part of his system so we, parents, should guide them to the right path.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Red Cross Rizal Chapter Training Courses for Summer 2008

In response to the inquiries from my friends and visitors, here is the complete Summer Program of Red Cross Rizal Chapter:


19th Rizal Summer Health & Safety Institute Program
(April 7 – May 10, 2008)
Kapitolyo High Scool

1ST Week – (8am – 5pm)

APRIL 7-12 Standard First Aid and Basic Life Support - CPR
APRIL 7-9 CHNS – Care for the Sick & Injured.
APRIL 10-12 CHNS – Mother and Baby Care

2nd Week – (8am – 5pm)

APRIL 14-19 Standard First Aid and Basic Life Support - CPR
APRIL 14-16 CHNS – Care for the Sick & Injured.
APRIL 17-19 CHNS – Mother and Baby Care

3rd Week – (8am – 5pm)

APRIL 21-26 Standard First Aid and Basic Life Support - CPR
APRIL 21-23 Basic Disaster Management
April 24-26 CHNS – Disaster Nursing
APRIL 24 Int. Humanitarian Law
APRIL 25 HIV/AIDS – Drug Abuse
APRIL 26 Accident Prevention

4TH Week – (8am – 5pm)

April 28-May 3 Standard First Aid and Basic Life Support - CPR
APRIL 28–April 30 Basic Disaster Management
May 1-3 CHNS – Disaster Nursing
May 1 Int. Humanitarian Law
May 2 HIV/AIDS – Drug Abuse
May 3 Accident Prevention

April 28 – May 3 Swimming Courses

5TH Week – (8am – 5pm)

May 5-10 Standard First Aid and Basic Life Support - CPR

MAY 17, 2008 (9am) Amang Hall, Rizal Capitol,
Pasig City


REGISTRATION FEE: (Includes Membership with Accident Assistance Benefit (MAAB)
For 1 year only).
P 1,100.00 – Professionals
P 900.00 – Bonafide Students (High School Students only)

NOTE: Participants are expected to report during the whole training period on or before 8:00 am.

Additional of P 800.00 will be charged for those who will be attending the water safety courses on top of the above mentioned fees. P 800.00 – Water Safety Course/s only.

The Individual Registration Form and the Medical Certificate form are only available at the Red Cross Rizal Chapter along Shaw Boulevard, Pasig City. These need to be filled out and submitted to the Training Office. I am enrolling for the April 14 schedule. See you there!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Red Cross Training For Kids and Nurses

Yes, both kids and adults, specially nurses, can avail of this summer's training at the Red Cross Rizal Chapter. For only 1,100.00 pesos you get a Basic Life Support (CPR) and Standard First Aid Training. Then you have a choice of including any or all of the following trainings without extra charge: Care for the Sick and Injured, Mother and Baby Care, Basic Disaster Management, International Humanitarian Law, HIV/AIDS-Drug Abuse, Accident Prevention, Disaster Nursing.

If you're interested, you'd have to register early. The next available schedule will start on April 14, 2008. The deadline for registration will be on thursday, April 10, 2008 for the April 14 schedule. You'd have to secure a medical certificate for it but the form is only available at the REd Cross Rizal Chapter, located along Shaw Boulevard. The building is a few meters away from the Rizal Capitol and is right beside the Pag-IBIG and PNB.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

My 13 Year Old and HTML

My daughter has been told that she'd be one of the contestants in the interschool computer competition. As early as yesterday, she had started to study HTML because according to her it is part of the questions database in the said competition. I'm just a little thrilled to know that she's learning something on her own. I looked for the html tutorial and fortunately found one that's free. She's told me how interesting the programming language is. I believe that. For one , HTML is something that can give you a result in just a couple of minutes of learning it. What to write on? I told her to write about something that she's really interested in. and Yup, she showed me her work today. So far so good. I think she's aiming to have it up before we leave for Macau this weekend.

By the way, she told me about resizing the images. Great news for me as I need to know how to do so for my entrecard widget. Hooray for HTML!