Homemade Liquid Sidewalk Chalk

These are the pictures I used for the slideshow I made for the Show and Tell for Aki’s Science Open House today. Unfortunately, I won’t be there to show Aki’s teachers and classmates how much fun it was to make the liquid sidewalk chalk. I need to be in the office because I have not one, not two but three job offers with Latin American candidates. God knows how difficult it is to source for one. The only thing I have not done for this critical requirement is to accept the invitation to go salsa dancing. So if you are from Chile, Colombia, Bolivia, Honduras or any Spanish-speaking Latin American country, and are looking for work opportunities here in Manila, Philippines, drop me a line!! I NEED YOU!

So where was I? Oh, too bad I am going to miss Aki’s Show and Tell. My father in law will be there later to present with him and document the activity.

I made the slideshow using Moviemaker. I was surprised that my laptop has that program installed. I don’t have Word nor Excel so it was a surprise that I can make a slideshow. The background music is Hall and Oates’ Make My Dreams Come True from Franco’s favorite movie, 500 Days of Summer.

Enjoy!

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Hoarding on Batibot Books

A couple of weekends ago, I went to three National Bookstores, looking for my favorite children’s books. I went to the branches in Shangrila, Glorietta 5 and SM Bicutan. We were invited to several kiddie parties and most of the birthday kids are based in other countries. I bought extras for unexpected birthday parties in school. Good thing I did because last Monday, I found out that two of Aki’s classmates will be celebrating their birthdays this week.

These Batibot books are perfect gifts. They are very affordable. They are thin and light so it won’t be a hassle for the parents of the balikbayan celebrators to bring them.  The books are in Filipino but English translations are at the last page. I remember reading these books and watching the stories in Batibot as a kid. It makes me smile seeing my own kid enjoy the very stories I used to love.

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Sitsiritsit Salagubang

What is salagubang in English? Beetle?

Several weekends ago, Aki suddenly shouted “Patay ipis! Patay ipis! Look look!”. Upon closer inspection, we learned that it is not dead and it is not a coakroach.  It was a salagubang.

At first, Aki was scared to touch it.

I had to show him that salagubang are gentle funny creatures.

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Taglishero

On the morning of Aki’s first day in toddler school…

Aki: Mommy Hudas!!

I was stunned. He looked angry and irritated, his head almost shaking when he was shouting those two words. How dare this toddler call me Judas. I slept late labelling his school supplies and woke up very early the next day to make sure he has beautiful memories of his first day in school. Now, he calls me names. How dare he.

Aki: Mummy, Ati pupu! Hudas fis! Mummy, I did poopoo. Please wash.   Wash in Filipino is Hugas which in Aki’ toddler vocabulary is Hudas, the Filipino word for Judas.)

Ohhhhhhh…

Me: Aki, nagluluto ako eh. Si Ate na lang maghuhugas sayo ha.  I am cooking. Ate will wash you.

Aki: No! Ate tuting. Mummy hudas! No. Let Ate will do the cooking. Mummy will wash.

Sometimes I forget that Aki is still a toddler, doing his best to communicate his thoughts. Two weekends ago, Aki kept saying “Mummy, taba. Mummy, taba. Mummy, fat. Mummy, fat. ” with matching pointing of finger. This was after I turned around after I brushed my teeth. Turns out, what he was trying to say was ” Mummy, may bula ka sa baba”  Mommy, there are bubbles in your chin.

While Aki’s far from being fluent, he is very patient when I need a minute to process what he is saying or when I ask him follow up questions to make sure I understand. He tries so hard to say the longer words.
As we were walking towards our house from my in-laws…..
Aki: Hi, Toh (pause ) lig (pause) lig! Hi, kulilig!

One evening last week…
Me: I am going up after 20 seconds. After I count up to 20 and you have not packed away your toys, I will leave you here.
Aki:  Inyan lang.
Me: Huh?
Aki: Inyan lang.
Me: Hindi ko maintindihan. Ulit.
Aki: Inyan. No sama. (Iwan. No sama)

A few weeks ago…
Aki: Mummy, chase bud, fis.
Me: Huh? Ano yun?
Aki:  Chase bud.
Me: Hindi ko naiintindihan.
Aki: Yey lang. (Wait lang) Gets a book and steps on it.
Aki: Like this oh.
Me: Aaaah. Skateboard!

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On Emergency Funds

As I mentioned in one of my previous wealth management posts, our financial planner, Efren Cruz, clarified that the emergency fund should be worth the cost of expenses for at least 3 months. This was a major eye opener because all this time I thought the emergency fund should be basic salary times six. We are big on savings so the difference of the expenses and salary is quite significant.

What is an emergency fund?  As the name implies, it is the fund that you set aside for emergencies such as loss of a job, illness or any unexpected major expense. One of the cardinal rules of investing, I read, is to have an emergency fund first before actually investing.
One of the questions I asked Efren is that “is there a way to maximize the returns of our emergency fund?”.  Would it be wise to invest it in low risk instruments?  Efren said that the EF should be placed in a monthly time deposit so that it still earns somehow but we can pull it out anytime. We also placed several weeks worth of EF in a savings bank account that has an ATM since emergencies may take place during non-banking hours.

And so, we recomputed our emergency fund, consolidated it and parked it our trusted government-run bank (let’s use TGRB, ok?). Why government-run? Someone told me that government banks are more stable than commercial banks since they run on the citizen’s taxes. Not sure if this info is true but it does make sense.

Some learnings from our experience in opening an account for our emergency fund

– Banks require two official government ID’s. Company ID’s are not considered official.
– A friendly customer-service-oriented branch manager makes the banking experience a lot better. In general, I don’t like banks.  The offices are boring and services have a lot of opportunities for improvements.  We love the branch manager and staff in TGRB, though. I only brought one government ID. Because the branch manager knows us, she allowed me to open the joint account and submit my ID on another day. I also like that she calls every roll-over date to confirm if we will retain our monthly time deposit.
– There is such a thing as aggregate interest. Franco’s parents also have savings with TGRB. The branch manager, gave us a better interest rate based on the sum of our emergency fund and hubby’s families savings.
– Don’t forget your old signature. Hahaha. Franco had an account with TGRB even before we got married. We closed that account and opened a joint one. The process got longer than necessary because hubby forgot his signature 10 years ago!
– One of the things that bother me nowadays is estate tax. When we die, our beneficiaries may not get the full amount of the investments that we will leave behind. The government will take out estate tax. Grrrr! Being a product of a state university, I am thankful to taxpayers for financing my education. However, now that I am working and see my payslip, I can’t help but wish that one third of my salary does not go to income tax. Imagine, how much more comfortable our lives would be if we get that our salaries in full? Sorry for disgressing. I asked our branch manager if there are ways to avoid paying tax estate or at least reduce it. She bit her lip and told me there are ways but she can’t tell me. Hahahaha! Can someone please tell me?
– PDIC insures deposits only up to 500K per depositor. That means if I have 300K in time deposit and 450K in regular savings, should the bank declare bankruptcy, I will only get a maximum of 500K.

Here is a very informative post on emergency funds.

Blog Backlog

Aki is turning 3! Mahy galeh! I need to clean up my PC.

Here are photos that I had been meaning to blog about.

UP Oblation Naming Mahal

UP naming mahal

Pamantasang hirang

Ang tinig namin

Sanay inyongg dinggin

Luntian at pula,

Sagisag magpakailanman

Ating pagdiwang

Bulwagan ng dangal

Shame. Shame. Shame on me. I studied in UP for 8 years. I used to sing UP Naming Mahal every Monday during the flag ceremony back in my high school in UPLB. Now, I only remember 8 lines of the UP anthen. Are you an alumnus, too? Let me know if you can do better.

Just want to share the pictures I took of one of the most famous sculptures in the country, the UP Oblation. Oble as we call it, symbolizes “bigay lahat sa bayan”. In English, that means selflessly offering oneself to the nation.

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