Saturday, March 21, 2015

 


Good Advice Project: Mary Gretchen Tamarra #14
The Good advice today comes from Mary Gretchen Tamarra #14; Breadwinner, Customer Care Representative, and Happy-Go-Lucky. Thank you sharing your Good advice Tams! :)

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"Prepare for and think long term."

Life is complicated and with so many good and bad things I've experienced in life, I'm a bit apathetic (Wa koy paki). I don't really care much for things beyond my control, and I try not to bother or be involved in other people's lives and problems. But if I were to give an "advice" that can help, I'd like people to prepare for their future more and seriously.

I know we need to take breaks, enjoy life and the fun stuff but I've experienced first hand that too much of something can become bad. At least we need to balance enjoyment and preparation.

I advice this based from what happened in my family. My family, specifically my dad had a growing and you could say booming business. An animal farm (baboyan, manokan, sari-sari..etc.), micro business. Since we weren't really knowledgeable about finances and protection that time, we just consumed the money earned as if it will continue to benefit us all the days of our lives. And then a crisis happened, something happened to my dad, and of course lacking healthcare plans, we had to spend the money earned until all the income generating assets had to be sold in order to pay for the fees.

I would rather not know or witness the same scenario repeat to my friends, family and others. It's not like we did not learn this in school, but it was just all simulations, theories back then and executing or applying what we learned is another story.

I used to blame my parents, the government, the education system, for the tragedy that happened to us but later I realized, that we were lacking too. Even today, most people are not interested in preparing for the future and just say YOLO and enjoy living in the now. Once again, that's not bad but you never really know what will happen in our day-to-day lives.

So I encourage you, the youth to prepare for the future, whether it is to get a health plan, protection, investments and the like. At least in my little way, this advice is my contribution to society and world.

Wake up, it starts with you!

“A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.”—Proverbs 27:12, NLT

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What do you think of this good advice?

This advice also resonates with me, and just to add to Gretchen's advice I'd like to share a quote I learned a few years back in terms of shifting one's circle of influence in order to build the necessary habits in pursuing one's goals -- in this case..preparing for the future (whether it is for learning and wealth building).

If you hang around five confident people, you will be the sixth.
If you hang around five intelligent people, you will be the sixth.
If you hang around five millionaires, you will be the sixth.
If you hang around five idiots, you will be the sixth.
If you hang around five broke people, you will be the sixth.

It is inevitable. Shift your circle of influence. Find role models, mentors and spend time with them in order for you to raise your game and achieve your dreams!

About this 365 Good Advice project:
-My own version of a 365 project;
-reconnecting with the willing 1,400+ friends of mine (based from facebook)

-"Good" I mean the exact opposite of selfish. How can we give people good advice in order for them to care about others and not just of themselves.
-my friends share their "Good advice” – one every day or every other day or every after coffee talk.

For more information, do read the main blogpost on 365 Good Advice Project: Coffee Talks/Dates

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


 Sun Life of Canada (Philippines) Inc. has found a new ally in promoting financial literacy in Cebu and the Philippines. He is our very own, home grown and world renowned industrial designer Kenneth Cobonpue. Sun Life’s partnership with Cobonpue was announced mid last year and now I was given an opportunity to listen in to a talk he recently gave here in Cebu.

Kenneth lead a business opportunity forum for entrepreneurs interested in becoming Financial Advisors in line with this year's 120th anniversary celebration of Sun Life Financial Philippines!

In his talk, he shared his story and journey in how he achieved the success he has today. Aside from that, he also shared the world-renowned designs he created as well as his passion for it.



Kenneth Cobonpue also talked about The Hive, a collective of like-minded Filipino and international designers—predicating both on the use of natural materials, an organic aesthetic, and intense hand-making. He shared that we must be passionate in what we do and have focus to see it through!


Cobonpue is known to always mention that “ideas are infinite”—a person, a brand, even a design is a story told over and over again in many different ways.


“My pieces carry all these values: valuing quality, integrity, and legacy. I don't design just for the present. I look at them as treasures that can be passed on from one generation to the next – just like Sun Life’s products.”

He also teaches his own employees to manage their finances, so they can save for the future which has led him to become Sun Life's new ally in promoting financial security in Cebu. He said: "Financial education is key to avoiding being saddled with debt. Now is the time for people to understand the need to save."

To learn more about Sun Life's products and Financial Literacy guide, tips and notes, visit www.sunlife.com.ph

Monday, March 09, 2015



The Aguinid Waterfalls is a multi-tier waterfalls in Samboan Cebu. Aguinid Falls is composed of five different tiers (6 or even more, depending on who you talk to) along the Tangbo River, with each level having a unique view, look and cascade. The Aguinid Falls is located in a small barangay called Tangbo and is easily accessible through a small road-side sign (which can be clarified by people you encounter along the way).


You will have to pass through a covered basketball court (in which as of this writing can be a place to park vehicles as well) and follow a short road will which ends at the ‘jump-off point’ which takes about 3 to 5 minutes tops.

From the jump-off point and heading to level zero
Level Zero -3 choices for your waterfalls shower self portraits
The easy route hahahah

I wouldn't call myself a waterfall chaser just yet, but I just like to find these spots in our own backyard in the island of Cebu. For this trip, I wanted to visit all the falls in one weekend. Pretty ambitious but of course, some unforeseen things happened and found myself together with a group the Aguinid Falls in Samboan Cebu.

Level one is these 3 micro falls for kids to take a dip and play, the small one behind is somewhat of a level 1.5 since above that is level 2 already

within level 2 is this entrance to a water cave - I don't know this couple but they are waiting for a guide to navigate them through the cave

This is Level 2 and you can see a foreigner there, who found a spot to chill and relax

Aguinid Falls Today:
I've done some research about this falls from other Cebu/local bloggers and weekend travelers and found some pretty interesting stuff. Before 2007 or so, the Aguinid falls was virtually 'just a local waterfalls' explored, and used by the locals and up until around 2013 or so, occasional traveler, bloggers and adventure seekers have visited and documented these falls in it's untouched stated more or less. Also, level four was damaged by the recent typhoon so it didn't look like the image in the tarpulin.

This is level 3 is where the tricky parts starts, to the side of this is where you need to climb some boulders, rock-walls and some huge tree/vine to navigate up to the next levels.
Before this spot is a cave like area hence the lack of light, this is the area before going to level 4
This is what I'd like to call level 3.75 because up there will be level 4 and you really have to climb this cold slippery falls
@ Level 3.75 view from top to bottom, that is far down below!
 When we went there, an eco-tourism mechanism has been put in place by the local government to ensure the safety of visitors and perhaps the protection and maintenance of the falls as well. Which are good developments by the way since they have guides to help you out (navigation, first aid and tourism) while contributing to the local economy and livelihood of the local guides.

natural jacuzzi-ish spots at level 4 of Aguinid Falls - because the falls got damaged from a recent typhoon I didn't take a photo of it.

Welcome to level 5 of Aguinid falls and ooh you can go explore the tight spots behind the falls!

About Aguinid:

Aguinid Falls is a cascade-type, multi-tiered waterfall located in Barangay Tangbo, Samboan. Until 2007, nobody knows exactly how many tiers these falls have, even when I was there I swear there are more than five. But I guess the major 'waterfalls' are five or so but with the local eco-tourism in place, technically there are six tiers now (from level zero to level 5). These waterfall tiers in Aguinid are located widely apart that it may take some time (depending on your physical fitness or pace) to get to the next on. The deepest spots in any of the waterfalls as told by the guide should be around 5-7 feet and you can ask before diving if it is safe or how deep it is.



The Aguinid Falls is a system of waterfalls which runs about two kilometers from the national road. The beauty of Aguinid does not lie in it's big waterfalls (although they are beautiful), but in the small ones for unlike the other popular falls in Cebu, they have unique shapes and cascades unlike any other. The biggest waterfalls is at Level 5 which is also a sight to behold. At level 2 you can find a water cave as well, but we didn't explore that since there was only one guide a lot of tourists and foreigners wanting to go for that.



Generally speaking the falls is "okay" to navigate for me. However, people who tell you that this falls is not a long trek or a quick endeavor, well I'd advise you to think again. There will be slight 'rock climbing,' a lot of 'wading' and bouldering (well swimming too) to navigate the terrain of the Aguinid Falls.

If you are not fond of fresh water, there's plenty of salt water as well (this is right beside one of the 4 piers in samboan)

Things to do and expect once there:
1. There are small cottages and a rentable spot for you to chill, eat food or basically have a picnic --this is somewhere in Level Zero
2. take dip, swim, or a shower, if not let the falls massage your back as if you are meditating or meditating for real like a zen master
3. Navigation via wading, slight rock climbing, slight bouldering
4. Take a proper Self portrait, a selfie, a groufie, or take photographs or video of the falls
5. or if you are lucky you can just sit back and enjoy some vitamins for the eyes -- I'm talking about foreigners, balik-bayans walking by with their "beach bodies" (roughly the same with tumalog)
6. pray, yes; take it all in, breathe in and out, reflect on your life and be amazed with God's creation!
7. LEAVE NO TRACE!
8. Talk to your guide and ask questions - you will learn a lot about the place's history, heritage and some interesting superstitions as well! They'll even direct you to other spots in Samboan to visit!

Or you can just chill, take a photo walk and snap away -- the view of Dumaguete/Negros Island

Preferred Gears/Things to bring:
Well, people have their preferences --like me! Hahahaha But seriously what annoyed me the most were my indoor tsinelas that was not built for the outdoors since I thought this was manageable but I was wrong.
1. Dry and wet clothing (what I meant was for 'swimming or so, the dry one is a no brainer)
2. Water casings for cameras or waterproof cameras - the falls you will navigate through are shallow falls but the higher you go, the higher chances of your gadgets being wet since you will climb multi-levels of waterfalls.
3. A dry bag should you choose to carry your gears and take pictures once you find a spot
4. Outdoor or Trekking shoes or that water sport shoes - you will be wading a lot and stepping on small rocks which is a pain if you have sucky, non-outdoor sandals or tsinelas.
5. Bring your sense of exploration and adventure!

National Road in Samboan Cebu

Getting There:
1. Get to Cebu first -- Take any Cebu-bound flight.
2. Find your way to Cebu City South Bus Terminal: Take Ceres bus liner bound for Bato-Oslob. The distance from Cebu City is about 150km for  a total of 3-4hrs of travel.
3. You can go drop off at the town center heading towards Barangay Tangbo, which is a 10-minute tricycle ride from the town center of Samboan.
4. It’s about 3-5 minutes trek away from the main road.
5. Once at the jump-off point you will spend about Php 10.00 for an entrance fee -- crap some I'm not sure due to the excitement and you will have to negotiate for the guide fee (to support the local government and eco-tourism initiatives. Parking lots are available too!)

exiting level 4 with our guides and on towards level 5
The guides were incredibly helpful (and yes you get an official receipt from the local government), in taking self, and group portraits as well as guiding us in navigating some crazy slippery terrain.


Budget/Expenses (prices are subject to change without prior notice):
1. Air-conditioned bus: Php 180.00 (one-way) from Cebu City, it's also accessible from Dumaguete City as well in which I am not sure of the RoRo/fastcraft fare (which I'm told to take just 20 min.).
2. Habal-habal/Tricycle (motorcycle for hire): This should not exceed Php 20.00
3. Entrance fee: Php 10.00 but the guide fee is separate (I can't remember waaa)
4. Bring snacks or food -depends on your appetite and spending
6. Bring a contingency or extra cash just in-case!

Like in Tumalog Falls in Oslob, I traveled on an invitation of a friend with her barkada which were strangers to me but no longer during the journey. It was definitely a unique experience, traveling and getting to know strangers at the same time dealing with unforeseen circumstances.

Thursday, March 05, 2015



After kicking off its 120th anniversary celebration in Manila last January 28, Sun Life will bring the festivities to Cebu, where it will be holding a series of activities.







This includes the staging of a play dubbed “Legacy: The Sun Life Story” at the Marco Polo Plaza on March 5 for the media, the company’s Financial Advisors and employees, and select clients. The said play has world renowned writer and director Floy Quintos at the helm, while veteran actors Robert Sena and Isay Alvarez will play the lead roles.

The company’s brand ambassadors, actor Piolo Pascual and industrial designer Kenneth Cobonpue, will lead the other activities.





Kenneth will lead a business opportunity forum for entrepreneurs interested in becoming Financial Advisors on March 7 at the Marriot Hotel.




On the same day at 6pm, Piolo will star in “Timeless”, a thanksgiving show at the Ayala Terraces.
Prior to the show, there will be games and other activities for mall goers beginning at 3 pm. Cebuanos will get to experience playing Brighter Life Praxis, Sun Life’s very own board game which was designed to make financial literacy fun. Exciting prizes such as an iPad Air and MF Starter Funds await those who will play and win this exciting and informative game.

Meanwhile, Sun Life, through its Foundation, will also continue with its Project 120, a community development program which includes the creation of 120 classrooms and donation of 120 fishing boats to areas that were devastated by Typhoon Yolanda and the Bohol earthquake.

Sun Life’s passion and commitment to serve the Filipinos burns just as strong as it did, when our forefathers first set foot in the Philippines,” Mantaring said. “We aim to be the best we can be as the country’s ally in nation building, and as every Filipino’s partner in securing a brighter future for themselves and their loved ones.”

About Sun Life Financial
Celebrating 150 years in 2015, Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization providing a diverse range of protection and wealth products and services to individuals and corporate customers. Sun Life Financial and its partners have operations in key markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda. As of December 31, 2014 the Sun Life Financial group of companies had total assets under management of $734 billion.

For more information please visit www.sunlife.com.
Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.

Monday, March 02, 2015



If you find yourself traveling south of Cebu, then I would recommend dropping by the awe-inspiring Tumalog Falls in Oslob, Cebu! Indeed the Cebu province is blessed with having of such great natural wonders such as mountains, beaches, rivers, waterfalls and the like. The Tumalog Falls is also known as “Mag-ambak Falls” or “Toslob Falls” is a must-visit place – with a multiple cascading waterfalls with an umbrella-like stone formations due to the water almost constantly falling down and hitting it.

You can already see the falls from a distance

I have done some research before going to the place, and have seen pictures but nothing could prepare me once I actually saw the Tumalog waterfalls. Literally, my heart skipped a beat or you could say I was breathless for a few seconds. And the cold winds were somewhat an added bonus.

In the entrance with some vendors to buy some snacks and buko juice from!


The Tumalog Falls is a good place to swim. It’s just a waist to neckline deep… so it’s definitely safe for everyone esp. for land creatures and non-swimmers like myself? (I'm still relearning fools!)


A closer look from a distance

An added amusement are foreigners; whether they are asians or westerners, the look in their face makes me even more proud of what we have here in Cebu. All the more for balik-bayans (it's pretty obvious from their look and slang speaking) being amazed not just with the Falls but with them talking about how much they spent just to witness something almost magical!

One of the first areas you will see once you reach the falls are the mini falls!

Things to do once there:
1. Just chill in front of the falls or the nearby Cottage
2. Bring a banig and just stare at the Tumalog Falls in awe (though this totally backfires if it is really windy but during summer, it shouldn't be a problem
3. take dip, or a shower, if not let the falls massage your back as if you are meditating or meditating for real like a zen master
4. Take a proper Self portrait, a selfie, a groufie, or take photographs or video of the falls
5. or if you are lucky you can just sit back and enjoy some vitamins for the eyes -- I'm talking about foreigners, balik-bayans walking by with their "beach bodies" (mostly weekends)
6. pray, yes; take it all in, breathe in and out, reflect on your life and be amazed with God's creation!
7. LEAVE NO TRACE!

The best way to say 'I was there' is with a selfie
another one but down below with the mini falls and pools of running water
I found me a mini bamboo forest!


Getting There:
1. You have to Get to Cebu first -- Take any Cebu-bound flight.
2. Find your way to Cebu City South Bus Terminal: Take Ceres bus liner bound for Bato-Oslob. Set an alarm if you plan on sleeping or just inform the dispatcher ahead of your destination, they will call out once you are near (distance approximately about 112km and spending a total of 2hrs and 45mins, depending on traffic, road conditions and the weather).
3. Get off the bus to the Jump off point, that is at the crossing of signage “Tumalog Water Falls”.
4. From crossing, it’s about 10-15 minutes drove away from the main road. You will have to ride a “habal-habal” for Php 30.00/person one way. Motorcycle can take two riders. If you have a private car or tour van then its a very sloped ride up.
4. Once at the falls you will probably spend Php 20.00 for an entrance fee (to support the local government and eco-tourism initiatives. Parking lots are available too!
5. Once again, you can ride another Habal-habal (Php50.00 round trip from entrance to falls and vice-versa) or hike for another 15 minutes to discover the falls.  The road is paved with some short rough-road but it’s manageable and fun?

Budget/Expenses (prices are subject to change without prior notice):
1. Air-conditioned bus : Php 180.00 (one-way) or Non-air conditioned bus: Php 172.00 (one-way)
2. Habal-habal (motorcycle for hire): Php 50.00 /person two-way (from drop-off point down to the Falls)
3. Habal-habal: Php 30.00 /person (National Highway up to drop-off area for ticketing) | Can ride with tandem.
4. Entrance fee: Php 20.00
5. Snacks at the entrace (chips, BUKO JUICE!) at least bring around Php 25.00 for the buko juice. And Water should cost at least Php 15.00
6. Bring a contingency or extra cash just in-case!

In this instance, I traveled on an invitation of a friend with her barkada which were strangers to me but no longer during the journey. It was definitely a unique experience, traveling and getting to know strangers at the same time.

For spending an amount people normally spend in a mall, I'd say this is more worthwhile and money well spent indeed!

Saturday, February 21, 2015


Good Advice Project: Abigail Joy Cesa #13
The Good advice today comes from Abigail "Abby" Joy Cesa #13; Good Advocate, Educator, and Life Shaper.

Thank you sharing your Good advice Teacher Abby! :)

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"Do Good and Good things will come to you."
I came up with this advise based from what I have experienced in my teaching life so far. In a way, I'm a believer in Karma - if you have and do good things, you attract good things as well as good things will happen to you; if you do bad things, then bad things will come to you. It is a cycle of how things are.

I'm also aware that the concept of "good" is vague, a good thing for me may not be for another. A good thing for me is like something that helps others, or something that brings the best out of them; perhaps even something that helps us realize to change for the better. A great example for this is a story of a student that I had once before back when I was teaching in high school (I currently teach in the College setting) during my 1st year of teaching.

 I came in as a new teacher and already told who's who in the class, the good ones, the bad ones and particularly there is this one student who was branded as "the worst" student not just in class but in the campus.

If she doesn't like the teacher, she would sleep and yes she slept in my class. As a new teacher having to face this kind of situation, I didn't know what to do really. So the logical thing I did was follow the process -- I reprimanded her but to no avail. From there, things got worse wherein I got more angry and scolded her even more.

But I also found myself reflecting and evaluating myself to the point of question whether or not the rules were wrong? As a teacher it was my duty to help struggling or even difficult students. Then I decided to change my approach by starting with our homeroom activity with an "open forum" of sorts.

There I was absolutely shocked when she volunteered to explain a question, which was: "Do you think you are kind?"

She answered and admitted to the class with all honesty and pride that she was kind. Her classmates were skeptical and didn't believe her obviously. She then explained: Kindness isn't about following the rules, it doesn't mean behaving well either, kindness for her was following the teachings of the bible.

O_O (shocked face)

She believed that she wasn't talking back to teachers, but instead said: "It is said there in the bible that if something is wrong, you should not just accept it, you should correct it. I believe that what I've been doing for the past 16 years of my life was and is always dedicated to what I believe is good. I respect people who respect me, and dislike those who dislike me."


This was one milestone as well as an eye opener for me, not because I learned another definition of kindness, but because I learned something valuable coming from a young mind. A perspective that I didn't have but now have gained/received like a gift.

You cannot be good by just following the rules, you cannot be good by following what others tell you to do, you cannot be good by just complying at school, work or at home; likewise you cannot immediately be a good christian if you don't miss church every Sunday and you cannot be good by simply claiming to be.

Being good goes beyond those things above, it is manifested in the creator as well as through our (consistent intent and) actions. So if you do good, good will come to you!

James 4:17 (ESV/NIV) - If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is a sin for them.

[Now the student is in college and is a candidate for Cum Laude]
--
What do you think of this good advice?

About this 365 Good Advice project:
-My own version of a 365 project;
-reconnecting with the willing 1,400+ friends of mine (based from facebook)

-"Good" I mean the exact opposite of selfish. How can we give people good advice in order for them to care about others and not just of themselves.
-my friends share their "Good advice” – one every day or every other day or every after coffee talk.

For more information, do read the main blogpost on 365 Good Advice Project: Coffee Talks/Dates