Monday, June 19, 2017

Car Buying Tips

It is everybody's dream to have their own car.  It is one of the things that each and every individual aspires as one of their assets, as proof of their hard work.  While it is still advisable to invest on real estate first, no one will judge you if you bought a car first than owning your own house.  Anyway, both are useful, it is up to you on how you would manage your finances and investments, just make sure that you will still have some money to save for the future and for emergencies. 

I've been driving for nine years now.  There was a need for me to drive for my family.  My father got sick and no one will drive for the family should there be any emergencies.  I first drove a manual transmission van.  My uncle then gave me an automatic transmission car in 2012.  Recently, that car has been showing signs of wear and tear; last October I changed two front tires, batteries, evaporator, and other minor parts replacements which cost me Php25,000.  It's so painful to the pocket, ahuhuhu....

Since the start of 2016, I've already been praying for a replacement car.  I am not really praying for a brand new car though, just an upgrade of what I'm currently driving.  I am praying for a second-hand mini SUV.

The Lord will really surprise you big time.  I never really planned to get a brand new car because I can't afford it.  I can't qualify to apply for an auto loan because I lack financial documents. One day, a bank representative called me to inform me that I have a pre-approved auto loan!  I was so surprised because I was not really expecting it.  

I didn't immediately grab the opportunity to apply for an auto loan because I was still contemplating about it, if I was just being excited about it and not planning on how I can manage to pay the amortization.  I still asked the blessing of my uncle who gave me my first car if it is okay for me to dispose it.  When I got his approval, then I went back to the bank to finally process my auto loan.  In a week's time, my brand new car was released to me, yay!

I took a leap of faith, but I know the Lord will provide me resources on how I will be able to pay-off my auto loan.

I've learned a lot from my auto loan experience and I would like to share it with you.

1.  Apply for an auto loan directly to the bank.  Most car companies don't have an in-house financing company, what they do is they just assist the potential buyers in applying for an auto loan to the banks.  If the auto loan is coursed through the car company, chances are interest rates are much higher because the car company has a 'cut' on the interest earned.  While car dealers don't like the idea of applying for an auto loan directly to the bank, still, there are some car dealers who would still accommodate you and give you the best deal.

2.  Ask quote from several car dealers.  Yes, they are still competing with each other, so you may ask for quotes for several car dealers from different branches to see who can give you the best deal.

3.  Purchase cars towards the end of the year.  It is likely that the car that you will acquire will be the latest model (model to be released the following year) at the price of the current year and you can get big discounts.

4.  Build good banking relationship.  This means being loyal to a particular bank for several years and maintaining a high maintaining balance.  Also, try to avail of several banking products too to create a good credit history.  In my case, I would be having difficulty applying for a regular auto loan because I lack financial documents (ITR), but since I have been with this bank for years now, I got qualified for a pre-approved auto loan.  The bank can also give you good deals whenever you need one.

There you go!  I do hope that I was able to help you with your first car.  Hope you can tell me about your auto loan experience.  Good luck!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Taking the Road Less Traveled

If you have been following my blog, you will know and understand that my son and I are living an extraordinary life.  We are living in a single parent home, we are homeschooling, I work from home.  I know most people do not understand our lifestyle, but rest assured that we are very much happy about it and enjoy every single moment of it.  

I am contented with our lives right now, but there are still times that I ponder why I chose to live a life that is far from the normal.  I still feel in awe that God has given me this kind of set-up because I can enjoy my life both as a mom and as a worker at its fullest.  I feel flattered when people tell me that I am doing a good job as a mom and as a worker.  

On the other hand, since we chose to take the road less traveled, I also find it difficulty to fit in the norm.  There are times that we feel alone because we simply cannot fit in the environment.  People would sometimes question our decisions, thinking that it is not psychologically healthy for me and for my son.  I can feel that these people wanted to tell me straightforward that I am making the wrong choices for me and my son.  Although I know that their questions are just out of concern and just checking if I am on the right track, but there are times that the manner of questioning is not really out of concern.  They just wanted to fish information (chismosa mode on) and to criticize and judge us.  Most of the time I do not mind these people (I just simply get rid of them), but there are times that I cannot help but to overthink about everything.  My friends would sometimes get crazy about me because I ask them too many questions about life too, haha. 

Taking the road less traveled has lots of challenges too.  We are not living a perfect life, but we are happy to embrace the challenges on the path that we chose to live.  Sometimes it's smooth-sailing, sometimes it has bumps and potholes along the way.  Sometimes it's all peaceful, sometimes it's all chaos.  Sometimes it's like a fantasy, sometimes it's like a nightmare.  Sometimes on the road less traveled you may encounter dead-ends; yes, the road less traveled is not also perfect.  You need to turn around and find another way so you can continue your journey in life.  

Taking the road less traveled is a great risk, but when you were able to conquer that risk, you are paving the way for others to also follow the path you traveled.  You can serve as an inspiration to others, so that others won't be afraid to take risks in their lives.  The road less traveled brings us more and various experiences, and by these experiences we cherish and appreciate life more.  Taking the road less traveled will not always bring us good; there are times that it'll hurt us too.  From the hurt, we learn to grow stronger and braver to fight all the uncertainties beyond us.  I myself have lots of hurt, but despite of drowning myself to depression, I pick myself up and continue on to life's adventures.

What about you, are you ready to go to the road less traveled?  

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Gardenia Pocket Sandwich--Perfect Healthy Snack for Everyone!

It's the start of another school year once again for most Filipino families, and one of the concerns of mommies is the food that their child will bring to school.  While some schools have their respective canteens, moms would still like to let their child bring their own food to school because they want to be sure that their child would only eat healthy food.  Some moms even do weekly baon plan for their children so that the children won't feel food fatigue, eating the same food over and over again.  Each morning, moms wake up early to prepare their children to school.  That's how moms show their love to their children.

One of the basic baon ideas is to let our child bring breads and sandwiches to school.  It's easy to prepare and moms are assured that it is a healthy food for our children.  One of the trusted brands for breads and sandwiches is Gardenia.  

Kib and I went to Gardenia factory in Laguna last year and we were amazed on how efficient Gardenia makes batches of fresh breads and pastries daily.  The production area is also highly sanitized as the people operating the machines are wearing the proper hygienic factory clothing.  After the production process, the area is cleaned so that insects won't infest the machines.  The main star of the production area is the giant carousel on which the freshly-baked Gardenia breads were cooled down before they were put into its packaging.  

Gardenia has launched a new product called Pocket Sandwich.  The Gardenia team has thought of making mommies' lives easier by preparing a ready-to-eat sandwiches for our children.  It is made of two slices of soft and luscious white bread with either peanut butter or chocolate spreading in between.  The edges of the sandwich are perfectly sealed, so there is no need to worry about the mess while our kids enjoy eating the Pocket Sandwich. Each pair of Pocket Sandwich is individually wrapped so moms can just put it inside their kids' lunchboxes and it's ready to go!

While the Pocket Sandwich is an ideal snack for our kids in school, adults can also enjoy it as well!  Pocket Sandwich is ideal for people who are always on the go and do not have much time preparing their own snacks or even think of what to bring as their baon to the office.   

Each Gardenia Pocket Sandwich is packed with iron, Vitamin B1, and Vitamin A.  

One Pocket Sandwich costs Php15.00 and is available in leading groceries and convenience stores nationwide.

Gardenia Pocket Sandwich can surely provide a pocketful of fun for mommies and kids!

For more information about Gardenia and its other products, you may visit Gardenia's Facebook page or visit

Friday, June 9, 2017

When Start-Up Entrepreneurs Help Each Other

Sharing is caring.

Ever since I go actively involved in several groups on Facebook, I've learned how to share experiences and knowledge to people that I don't even know at first.  These people eventually become my friends and I'm glad that through helping, I've grown my network and when I need their help, they're also there to support me :)

One of the groups that I love is the Hobbies to Business group.  It is led by Marge Aberasturi, a.k.a. The Happy WAHM.  She has been working from home for the past nine years, and all throughout her work from home career, she has grown her knowledge in networking and putting up small businesses.  Marge has also been invited to become a speaker in some events, sharing her experiences being a virtual assistance extraordinaire and her success on being an entrepreneur.  She also has been doing consultancy jobs, particularly in entrepreneurship and finance.  Her latest business venture is Crafted Crafts.  On Crafted Crafts' Facebook page, you can see the projects that she has done through crochet, from scarves, scoodies (scarf + hoodie), ponchos, and anything and everything crochet.  She is also selling yarns for crocheting and other projects that you can use it for.  

One of the workshops that she conducts is to teach people on how to turn people's hobbies into something profitable called 'Hobbies to Business'.  For the past two runs of this workshop, she has helped several aspiring entrepreneurs to shine in their respective crafts and continuously mentoring them in order to make their businesses grow.  Marge is indeed true to her promise on supporting small businesses and even patronizing them to her friends and followers.  

I've been following the people that Marge has mentored after attending her Hobbies to Business workshop, and I'm happy to see how they have bloomed on their respective fields.  Now that I also have own small business venture, I now know how it feels when someone supports your small business venture.  It's really heartwarming and it's also a humbling experience too :)

Now, I'm taking this opportunity on my blog to promote these people as I can really attest that they're really good at their respective crafts:

  • Jinstitches -- You can buy everything crocheted here!  The Facebook page showcases present and previous crochet projects made by Teacher Jean Castillo.  She has a tutorial center in Montalban, and on her free time she crochets.  If you have a crochet requirement, please do not hesitate to leave a message at her Facebook Page.

  • --  Chachie Pabalan is marketing automation specialist and a virtual assistant.  She decided to leave the corporate world after attending Marge's Virtual Assistance workshop two years ago.  Her clients have lots of good words to say about her workmanship, so if you need someone to make your online business fly and soar, you can schedule for a free 15-minutes consultation with her.

  • Mrs. Gee's Homemade Goodness -- Nelle Gillesania can prepare cakes and desserts on your special occasion!  She may be based in Cavite, but she can arrange delivery on nearby areas as well.  Her cakes are moist, and they're prepared with love.  

  • Craft Works -- Genaline can supply all the tools, equipment, and embellishments you need for your crafting needs!  She is also into crocheting.  If there are things you need for your craft project and it's not currently on her album, you can request it from her!

  • Brownroots Creatives -- Celia is a businesswoman by heart.  She has engaged in several businesses in the past, like events management, trucking, among others.  She also had a short stint working in Qatar and that's where she learned a lot about life.  When she got back in the Philippines, she decided to put up Brownroots Creatives.  Brownroots Creatives is into selling personalized mugs and statement shirts and is also helping aspiring entrepreneurs to start on their own label.  Celia continues to grow as a businesswoman as she has recently opened her food park and co-working space in Mandaluyong City.

  • Jaz Arts and Crafts -- Jill recently left the corporate world and now going full-time on her arts and crafts business.  Primarily, she provides craft activities for children in parties but right now she is trying to go retail.  She is good at doing felt crafts and you can order souvenir items for your events from her. 

I highly recommend these people to supply your daily needs!  They're nice to talk with and they will also remain loyal to you.  They also served as my inspiration to also start my own business, Katsa Co.  My business, in partnership with a close friend of mine, is into selling and everything made of katsa (canvas cloth).

Never be afraid to start small!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

PayMaya: Mommies' Newest Best Friend

Life nowadays is fast-paced; people do not like wasting time so they are finding ways to make things easier for them.  Thanks to technology, people can send emails, check Facebook status, research, listen to music, among others while they're on the go.

Like me, I have been maximizing the power of the Internet so that I can do a lot of things.  I do online banking, teach English to Japanese nationals via Skype, promote events and business on Facebook, call friends and loved ones via Facebook Messenger or Facetime, even contact friends at Viber.  I am a very busy person, so these things that makes things convenient for me helps me to be more effective and do more.

I have heard about PayMaya before, but I didn't bother to really learn about it.  When I was invited to their event last Saturday, May 27th, my curiosity about PayMaya heightened.  I began to wonder what PayMaya can do to a busy mom like me and if it will make my life easier.

PayMaya is a free and secure app that gives users a reloadable mobile wallet, which allows them to send and receive money, pay their bills, and shop anywhere online even without having a credit card.  Users simply have to download the PayMaya app (both available in Google Play and App Store), register, load in up to over 15,000 touch points nationwide (SM Business Centers, Robinsons Department Stores, 7-eleven with Cliqq kiosks, Petron stations along NLEX, Ministop outlets with Touchpay kiosks, Unionbank, Shopwise, 2Go outlets, Wellcome, Smart Padala Centers, Palawan Pawnshop branches, and online banking via BDO), and you can now start using it!  It's so easy to register, I promise!  I've tried it and it didn't take 5 minutes of my time to register :)  

You can also avail of PayMaya's Visa physical card.  You may order it online at and pay Php150 for one card and it will be delivered at your doorstep at no additional cost.  You may link your card at your PayMaya app.  You may link up to three (3) cards per PayMaya online account.  You can use the PayMaya Visa card to pay at groceries, bookstores, malls, or any stores which accept card (Visa) payments.  

With its growing services and uses, PayMaya is indeed an ideal tool for parents, 'digipreneurs', entrepreneurs, and freelancers.  

For parents, they can issue a PayMaya card under their kid's name and give their school allowances on that card.  Some big schools in the Philippines are already honoring PayMaya as a means for paying at the school cafeteria so that children will no longer need to bring cash.  It makes sense because children have a tendency to lose their money.  In addition, parents can also provide their househelp grocery money through PayMaya.  We are now becoming a cashless society!

Worried about losing track of your mobile wallet balance?  A real-time SMS notification is sent for every transaction.  A transaction record is also automatically recorded in PayMaya app as well.

For online entrepreneurs like me, PayMaya can be used to pay for web hosting and sponsored posts on social media or on their respective websites.  PayMaya credits can also be used to pay suppliers and receive payments from their customers.  Furthermore, PayMaya can be linked to a global payment platform like PayPal to withdraw their earnings.  Good thing about PayMaya is that the transfer is made real-time, no need to wait for days in order the international payment to be credited to your PayMaya account.  With that, you can immediately use your e-wallet credits to do online shopping, to pay bills, to reload credits on your mobile phones.  

Good news!  You can withdraw your PayMaya credits at any Bancnet ATMs!  Just upgrade it and you can enjoy full benefits of having a PayMaya Visa.

The physical PayMaya card can be used to pay where Visa or Mastercard is accepted, which includes but not limited to airline seat sales, paid mobile apps, and on-demand services such as Uber, Netflix, and Spotify.  When you reload your mobile phones via PayMaya app, you can get 5% discount!  

So many things to do with PayMaya app!  It'll really make your life easy!  Very convenient for busy moms like me :)

So what are you waiting for? Download now the PayMaya app and enjoy the great benefits and conveniences it can offer you!

For more information, visit  Join the conversation online by tagging PayMaya on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@PayMayaOfficial). Get support at @PayMayaCares on Facebook.