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Friday, October 30, 2009

Dental Work Ongoing

There was an old saying: "For every child a tooth" which probably means that a pregnant woman would most likely lose a tooth due to decay. Supposedly that means that the tooth becomes weaker because the body leaches calcium because of increased needs. (That's why we're supposed to drink milk when we're pregnant -- because we need the additional calcium. I have found a better alternative though...but I'm still doing further research.) I refused to believe it. However, imagine my surprise when the day before I was due to give birth via Cesarean section, I felt a cavity in one of my molars. The day before my CS! What was I supposed to do about it? At that moment, nothing. I had other, more pressing matters -- namely, my baby -- so my tooth was not my immediate concern.

Fast forward to almost 4 months later, my tooth was constantly having some sort of dull ache. Bearable, yes, but I know it should not be there. I finally went to my dentist who noticed that my impacted side lying wisdom tooth had eroded into the neighboring molar. I needed to have both surgery to remove the impacted wisdom tooth and a root canal for the decayed molar. Quite a lot of dental work that will take definitely take more than 1 session and would need the expertise akin to those of Plano dentists. She brought in a dentist who specializes in dental surgery and we had the surgery done. For the first day, I had ice cream for lunch and cooled lugao for dinner. The next few days, I had regular meals but the side of my face swelled. Yesterday, my dentist finally removed the stitches.

I'll be going back to the dentist for root canal next week. I am endeavoring to preserve my teeth for as long as possible, because I do not want to have to use dentures. I hope most of my teeth will still survive for the rest of my life.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Depends On Who's The Boss

My family's business was ever changing, depending on the interest of whoever was handling the business at the time. With my father at the helm, they ventured into steel and into agricultural products like peanuts and watermelon seeds at different times in our business history. When my mom handled the business, however, focus was more on small electronics, T shirt printing and a bakeshop. With my brothers, they tried bath products and virgin coconut oil Pretty diverse huh? Looking back, I'm not really that surprised. Our business never really had the focus of many big businesses, so if you asked me what business my family was/is in, I cannot really give you a straight answer. Suffice it to say that our business is in trading -- in whatever sells at the moment.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Don't Sell What You Win

I don't know if it's a Chinese or a Pinoy pamahiin (traditional belief), but there was a belief that anything you won, you should not sell. It's okay, I guess, because you MIGHT need what you won. But what if you win more than enough of the same item?

Over the past decade, we've been exceptionally lucky as far as televisions were concerned. I mean, our family would go to raffles and if there's a TV set as one of the prizes, we'd surely get it. As a result, we have more than enough TVs at home. Which is ridiculous because we don't get to use them all. We used to kid around that we should probably not join raffles with TVs as prizes, since we don't get the other prizes anyway.

But that was years ago already. Our luck with TVs seem to have run out. We are stuck with analog model TVs which are supposed to be going to be passe in the next few years. Why, oh why does our "TV luck" run out now that we're in the age of large, flat, thin screen, high definition TVs with plasma mounts? LOL. NOW we'd love to have one of those!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Money Woes

We really, really need to build up an emergency fund AND another income generating activity. This year has been quite a year of expenses, both expected and unexpected. All things being considered, I wonder how my husband and I were able to live within our earnings, which are much reduced nowadays, mainly because I haven't gone fully back into my work schedule since I gave birth. Of course, I still do some blogging and some other online work like my online store, but that has never been my main source of income but my sideline, a little something to augment what we earn from my profession. Since the recession (especially in the US) occurred, income seemed to be reduced from before. Sigh...

Added to that, we have a lot of expenses, even more than last year. Kuya E's tuition fees have increased since last year. I gave birth. Baby R had to stay in the hospital for a few days more (which translated to a much higher bill than we expected).

Then Typhoon Ondoy came and destroyed a lot of the stuff we parked at my mother-in-law's house. We WERE very glad that nobody was ultimately hurt in the flood, but of course, having possessions water damaged was no joke either. Good thing nothing was lost in the break in at my mom's house (blogged about this earlier), nothing, that is, except our dog. Sigh...

That was on top of the usual expenses like phone bills, clinic rentals, payments for life insurance policy, groceries. Sigh...

To be honest, I have actually loaned some money from my mom to pay off Baby R's hospital bill. Actually, mom also had an accident at the start of this year. It's a good thing that she has money of her own, which she used to pay for her hospitalization. Sigh...

Well, they do say that we won't be given problems which we cannot ultimately handle. And we will. We just have to believe in that.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Home Insurance

The recent events -- Typhoon Ondoy destroying stuff at my mom-in-law's house and the break in at my mom's house -- have underlined the fact that our homes are not really that safe and secure. I think we should all consider getting home insurance so that we are covered against burglaries, fire, etc. that may happen to our home. I wonder if the moms will consider that, after all that has happened.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My (Microscopic?) Business

To a rather small extent, I'm trying to earn some extra by engaging in a small online business. While this is not the same type of business that my parents and grandparents engaged in (and the income of course is not as much as what full time businesspeople get), it does add a little extra something. It's difficult to have a full time business when you're also practicing a profession AND being mom. So the internet is a godsend in providing us with the means to sell stuff.

The advantages of online selling: It's practically 24/7, you can do business from home, so no need to invest in renting an office space. And since you "display" your products via pictures which you post online, there are no additional expenses like cardboard displays, although these certainly come in handy during bazaar season (which I haven't tried but might look into later).

The disadvantage of being a part timer is that you sometimes neglect some tasks, either for your business or some other aspect of your life. Also, people think that just because you're home, it means you're doing nothing, which is certainly not the case for most online sellers. Oh well, there will always be the good and the bad, and we just have to adjust. For now, the good really outweighs the bad. Although, as with any profession or work, this is not for everyone!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Break In!

While we were out for my cousin's birthday dinner last Saturday night, something was happening at home.

When we got home, we got up immediately to our rooms since it was getting late and we all wanted to rest. Nobody bothered to go to the living room. The helpers noted that one of our dogs, Beauty, was acting strange. She seemed very weak and her tummy was getting bigger. It seemed that she was sick. She's quite old already (11 years old) so we were thinking that maybe she just had some health problem that we didn't know about and it was catching up with her. Anyhow, my mom insisted that my brothers bring her to a 24 hour vet. The vet can't do anything and she died on their way back.

Before my brother went to sleep, he did a routine check of all the doors in the house. It was then that he noticed that one sliding door was open. Another door was broken and glass was all over the floor. It was a good thing that we didn't really have anything that the thief/thieves would find valuable and easy to sell in the sala -- no cash lying around, no jewelry, no wall candle sconces that could easily be removed and sold. The thief wasn't able to go to the other rooms because everything else was locked. He was wounded, though, probably from breaking the glass, as there was evidence of blood near the doorknobs which he tried to open.

The security guards of the village were alerted. Later, the police came to investigate, and then the SOCO came to get fingerprints and handprints (got ours too, for comparison).

I do not know if the culprit/s will ever get apprehended. We didn't lose anything actually...at least nothing material. Our hearts bleed for Beauty, our dog who died in all this drama. The greatest thing that the thief did was to make us feel insecure in our own home, in our own haven. The thought that s thief was actually able to go inside our house made us feel so violated. Next thing we ought to do is beef up security in our home.

Blsted thief!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Gold Coins From Dad

My dad used to go frequently to Hong Kong for business. In fact, he had an office there and a small studio flat (where we also stay when we go for vacations).

When we were younger, he often bought toys for us. That was when there was a dearth of good quality toys, maybe because of Martial Law. If you wanted, for example, a nice walking doll, it would be difficult to find it here, not to mention expensive. It was much cheaper there in Hong Kong. That's why most of our toys then were from Hong Kong. We usually get extra special toys for our birthdays.

Later, when we outgrew toys, dad thought of other stuff. On different occasions, he got an electric guitar for my brother, a pair of binoculars, a shoulder bag for me, stuffed toys etc. Then one time he decided that it would be a good idea to give us gold coins. It was something that we could keep as investments and sell when we need it later on, with the value most likely appreciating over time. At that time, that was quite a new idea and there were not many coin dealers so he bought it from banks. I think he hit upon a very good idea. Most of our toys are already gone, but we still have our gold coins. We could sell those if we need to. Good, "portable" investment and easy to transfer and to give. Great idea, Dad!

I think I'd like to continue the tradition he started, giving my kids gold coins for their birthdays when they are old enough. Of course, I would buy from reputable dealers. I've heard that Monaco Gold Coin is a good one, deals with both buying and selling AND is available online.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Mid-Autumn Festival 2009

This year's Mid-Autumn Festival (aka the Mooncake Festival) is supposed to be the first for Baby R. It was, however, relatively a sad one.

Firstly, because my grandmother is not around. We are used to having the dice game in her house, with all my paternal uncles and aunts and cousins. We usually have dinner first, then the game later. Aside from the usual prizes of varying sized "mooncakes" (or hopia, if on a budget), there are some money to be had when you win prizes. That certainly ups the excitement level. Sadly, none of that yet. Maybe when grandma comes come.

Secondly, it was the week after Ondoy (Ketsana) wreaked havoc over Metro Manila and caused flooding in 80 percent of the city. One of the hardest hit cities is Marikina, where my in-laws are. My husband has been going there almost everyday since the floodwaters receded, and as expected, he was sad and depressed about the state of his home. Fortunately, my mother-in-law and sister-in-law were able to survive the flood by going to the roof. Still, it is very sad to see the home you built and the things you've accumulated through the years destroyed by a few hours of heavy downpour.

Thirdly, my children were sick. E had a four day fever prior to "the day" and still has the sniffles. My 3 month old R is starting to have a low grade fever and I was getting a bit worried about her.

Nevertheless, my mother wanted a small celebration, even if it's just the few of us (my mom, my 2 brothers and my sister-in-law, me and my husband and 2 kids) rather than the whole clan. She also decided to let the hired help join in this year's game. For some reason, though, we couldn't find any "play sets" (sets of different sized mooncakes for the different prizes plus a set of six dice). This didn't deter her, she simply asked my SIL to buy grocery items in lieu of the mooncakes (this might be a good thing though, as some of us get too much sugar as it is...this way there's less need of diet pills).

However, when we were about to start the game, we noticed that R was a bit hotter than usual. A temperature check showed that she was 38.8 degrees Celsius. I gave her Paracetamol and stayed with her. We didn't go downstairs anymore. The boys (my husband and son) subbed for us in the dice game.

It was a pretty fast game! It lasted less than 40 minutes, I guess. Before I knew it, my husband was lugging our grocery prizes. It seemed that Baby R actually won the first prize not just once but twice! But she was overshadowed by 2 of our hired help, and finally won by her nanny. :)

I'm hoping that we'll have another one with the clan, but I really do not know if we'll get one this year. Well, I hope next year's celebration will be much better than this year's.

Friday, October 9, 2009

On SSS

Pride may be a good thing but sometimes I think that we have too much of it. Sometimes we do need to get what we deserve, since we paid for it in the first place. For example, my grandfather was a regular SSS contibutor when he was still actively working. He never claimed any sickness benefits, never used any disability appeal as far as I know. He was entitled to a pension from SSS when he reached mandatory retirement age, but he never got any. He didn't want to because he felt that he didn't need it anyway. Or maybe he didn't know that he could get regular pension. The thing was, he was entitled to it!

From the mandatory age of 65 up to his death at the age of 87, that's 22 years worth of retirement pension. I was told that my grandmother could actually claim all the accumulated benefits, plus interest. She can even claim burial benefits, I believe. I have to remind my uncle to process these things for her, as I don't think that she can do it for herself.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

My Grandparents' Cars

I remember that my grandparents had quite an odd assortment of vehicles throughout the years. They had a 60's model car when I was small. I don't know the make but I remember details like the gear shift being just behind the steering wheel, and the front seat being one whole seat, like a sofa which could seat three.

Later on, they had a utility vehicle. The make escapes me at the moment but if I recall it right, it's a locally assembled vehicle. If I remember correctly, it didn't have any aircon.

Then came the Lancer. My grandfather actually won it in some raffle. I don't know if he would have gone out and bought a new vehicle if he hadn't won in that raffle.

When Toyota came back to the Philippines, my grandparents bought a Toyota Corolla, the XL type (entry level).

I guess my grandparents are okay with any vehicle, as long as it works and takes them where they want to go. Pretty simple tastes. No fancy lambo doors or any modifications whatsoever that would cost additional.

I guess I am too. I would go for a vehicle that would serve my needs and would not cost too much and call too much attention. No fancy vehicles for me. Just a plain, reliable car would do.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Entertainment Jobs

While Chinese immigrants to the Philippines are mostly traders, Filipinos who seek work abroad are mostly professionals, either in the construction or health care field. There are also a large number of domestic helpers and entertainers. In fact, Filipino entertainers are very much appreciated in other countries since Pinoys, for the most part, are good singers and dancers, and enjoy doing those.

Here's a good Entertainment workers Job Search, mostly for USA and Canada jobs, for those who feel that they have a future in this industry.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Environmental Destruction = Disaster?

I would not be surprised to learn if the current mess that we're in after Typhoon Ondoy is partially due to irresponsible and selfish people wreaking havoc on the environment via their actions. I wonder if the deforestation and tree denudation somehow contributes to the flash flooding. Not to mention the presence of garbage which clogs the drainage. We are ultimately reaping the results of the destruction of the environment.

The sad thing is that people die because of something that while difficult to implement, is not impossible. Make people realize the consequence of their actions before disaster strikes. I know there are such things like Mesothelioma lawyers for people who want to claim vs. companies of asbestos products which cause their cancers. Maybe cases can be brought against individuals and companies who are proven to be consistently destroying the environment, all in the name of self gain.