Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Million Hectare Walk

Last November 16, our family joined Haribon Foundation's Million Hectare Walk 2008 at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Quezon City. We started early, about 5 AM because my wife is also part of the organizing committee.

Leon, who went with us last year but was still below 1 year old couldn't walk yet so we just brought his stroller and be a part of the event. But this year, my wife actually got several pledges for his walk so we have to at least try to convince and guide him to finish one lap.

We were one of the first ones to register so we could start early and finish early. He actually takes his morning naps around 930 or 10 AM so in order to avoid any tantrums, we decided to start the walk early.

It was really funny! He started walking fast because he saw several people walking in front of him, beside him and after him. It wasn't much of an effort for him to finish one lap (around 500 meters, i guess) because he was too excited. For his second lap, he got distracted by other young walkers and sometimes he actually want to go back, walk sideways (out of the path) and just sit at the pavement. We finally decided he was starting to get tired so we rested for a while and ate a few snacks.

After finishing a bowl of soup and a glass of juice, we tried to go back to the path to have his third and final lap. He walked with a little girl, a child of my wife's officemate so he finished the lap without any distractions. We were so proud of him! He was really great and did not have any tantrums. We also went to the wildlife rescue center to see several rescued birds, mammals and reptiles. Leon also joined the art workshop and played with colors and paper.

After the walk event, Haribon made a short program and gave out a few awards as a way to show gratitude for all those who supported the fund raising event. Leon got the "Youngest Walker Award"! As parents, we were so proud of him going up the stage to receive his prize and being applauded by the audience. It was surely one of the most memorable events of Leon's childhood and we hope that someday, when he has children of his own, he would also let them participate in environment awareness campaigns just like this one.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Starting up our business

This blog is a continuation of my previous one about food business. It has been 3 weeks and up to now we still don't have a substantial income from it, why? Here are the reasons:

1. Capital - Why put up a business without a capital? Well, as i have mentioned before, we got a partner to add capital and a loan from a bank. What happened? We paid a franchise business as soon as we got the money because they actually told us that the site was approved and only the money is incomplete why they cannot deliver the booth and goods. To cut a long story short, upon getting our payment, they found 101 reasons why suddenly our location was not approved. Sounds familiar? Up to this time, they are still holding the money and we cannot get the refund. I could not believe that we were a victim of these unprofessional business people. Why were we involved? We were referred by a close relative whom we really trust to help us out start our small business. Hmmm, so to my readers out there, please try to stay away from getting a business from a donuts company (not the top 3) but a common name located near schools, markets, bus terminals, etc.

2. Product- Since we were deceived by the donut company to pay, we actually are looking for an alternative. A lot has been suggested but i guess i have to try the most famous snacks. Dimsum, burger, sandwiches, pizza, hotdog, squid balls, fishballs and the likes. Hopefully we can make up for the lost 3 weeks (actually we are on a loss, since we started paying rent since day 1).

3. Marketing and Promotions - Nothing whatsoever. I guess we were dependent on the donut company for marketing stuff and promotions. Now we have to make our brand (hopefully this will be a blessing in disguise).

4. Location - Our location is good but without the product, good location with no product equals no income.

5. Added capital - Another thing, i got declined from 2 banks i applied for a loan. Double whammy?

So that's it.... I guess we have to make the best of what we have for the meantime.....

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Passion with Cars continued...

I was fortunate enough to get a loan to have my second car. It is a Honda Civic ESI 1995 model, color beige. It has been one of my personal goals to have a Honda Civic someday, and this year, i got the chance to achieve that goal (until i fully pay the loan.... hehehe)

I have so many plans with this car that i actually don't have any idea where to start. Of course budget will always be the main concern so i guess i have to start with the basics, and cheapest of course.

First thing was to check the engine. The engine is good (considering its a 13 year old car) and runs pretty well. Change oil and tune up was the basic. I also changed the radiator's auxilliary fan, sensor and fuse. Next will be air and fuel filter. Timing belt? Sana hindi pa naman. There are a lot more, but i guess i'll just start with the basics.

Underchassis.... hmmm. I already changed all the suspension bushing and boots. I guess shocks will be the second to be replaced. I had it alligned and cambered after changing the bushings. Tie rod, ball joints, trailing arm, etc... will also be next i guess. Will i still have a budget for lowering springs and new shocks? Hopefully....

Brakes. New brake pads next year. Rear disc brakes? Hmmmm, something to think about.

Tires and mags. I got 2 new tires to replace the old ones. I'm not planning to buy 2 more since i plan to shift to 15 inch SIR mags. I will have to get 4 new tires since the mags are of different size to what i have right now, stock ESI mags. 17 and 18 inch mags are very tempting but once you get them, you will sacrifice the ride and comfort. Plus they are really expensive.... and i don't have my own garage, i might lose them to thieves.

Clutch and pressure plate, its nice to think to have them replaced for better gear shifting but i guess this will have to wait for next year.

Transmission? I have no idea whatsoever...

Muffler. Not too loud, but not too stock.

Lights. Not planning to buy HID, halogen is good enough for me. I'm not that interested to get jdm corner lights, i don't know if it looks better. Busted tail light bulbs will also be replaced.

Sounds. Change to Pioneer or Sony Xplode unit. Must have Ipod capability. Replace stock speakers to 3 way, seperates and a single small subwoofer.

New carpets and new leather seat covers.

New armsrest.

I'm keeping the stock steering wheel and shift knob. Looks better for me than the 1996-2000 models.

New wipers. I won't get the new ones (installed in 2007-2008 honda models) I'll just get a nice brand.

Paint? Needs to be detailed. I inherited a few scratches and a bump at the rear bumper.

That's my partial list. I will have to update this list once in a while. If you have any suggestions, just make a comment, ok? Thanks

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Climate Change

How does an ordinary person understand these two words? Climate change, how does this affect each individual? How can a person associate these two words to his or her everyday life?

I was employed for about 2 years at Haribon Foundation and I can say these two years are very fulfilling for me. I became a part of an environment conservation organization which goals are to help preserve our country's remaining natural resources specifically forest and marine areas. I was exposed to several project sites, communities and even a foreign country which prioritizes environment conservation for the benefit of future generations. I also got a chance to lead a project or a fund raising activity to help generate funds for the organization's project sites.

One of Haribon Foundation's advocacy is educate the people about climate change. Climate change is such a common word for us but we only associate these two words when we think about the environment. When we go home after work or school and we live in the comfort of our homes, especially if we have air conditioning at home, we seldom feel the effects of climate change. Come to think of it, we only associate climate change when we feel extreme heat or a sudden downpour of rain. Am I right?

To get straight to the point, we oftentimes miss the true meaning of these two words. Climate change affects everything. From our food, water, the air we breath, clothing, shelter which are our basic needs. Because of climate change, we eat instant food, buy mineral water, we seek homes, offices even malls to provide a cool atmosphere, and goal to buy a nice condo unit near our place of work. Because of deforestation, we can no longer get cheap and fresh food to eat and clean water to drink. Because of irresponsible environment planning, we cut the remaining trees in our surroundings which absorbs the carbon dioxide we emit. Because of lack of opportunities and irresponsible fishing and farming in the provinces, we migrate and congest cities. I could go on and on about the effects of climate change but i guess what we need to see are the solutions and not just blame our problems to our public officials.

What do i suggest as solutions?.... i will write on my next blog the simple ways on how we can help as an individual to help delay the severe effects of climate change.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Food Business

This year my wife and i planned to put up a business to support our family and have an extra income besides our salaries. We actually tried to put up a donut shop near my previous workplace in Intramuros, Manila but unfortunately we got denied by the company. We haven't had time to look for alternative sites since then because either we were too busy working or we just want to spend our extra time with our son and relax after working for 5-6 days in a week.

A few weeks ago, my sister, who has a food business of her own, asked us if we were interested to rent her space near Mendiola street in Manila. She told me she can not maintain her outlet there since it is too far from her place (she lives in quezon city) and that place is the lowest in generating income. We were hesitant at first upon learning the rent expense but after a few days of weighing the pros and cons, we decided to go for it.

We decided to get a loan from a bank to bring in capital and to get a partner who can help us manage and add more capital. Fortunately we got a partner who is also interested to put up a business and after visiting the place, he immediately confirmed his interest. It was a good sign for us so hopefully things will turn out good in the next few days.

Passion with Cars

This blog is about my passion with cars. Since i was a little kid, i was really fascinated with toy cars and i often play with them inside my room for countless hours. My mom really wonders how can her son play with just a couple of toy cars and last for more than 2-3 hours without tv, radio or even snacks. I couldn't explain to her before that everytime i play with my toy cars, i would imagine a lot of scenarios and instances that my toy cars would participate. This was my childhood secret. You could just imagine if i got a new set of toy cars and when i finally got my first lego set.

My cousin was a big influence with regards to my taste in cars. He got his first car, i think when he was in college.... it was a 1979 Mitsubishi Lancer. His second car was a 1982 Toyota Liftback, his third a 1993 Toyota Corolla XL Big body, his fourth a 1982 Toyota Starlet, his fifth a 1994 Mitsibishi Galant GTI and his current car right now is a 1997 Honda Accord VTI. He also shares cars with his wife, a Nissan Urvan and a Nissan Patrol. Up to this day, he maintains the 1982 Starlet and seldom uses the Galant. He decided to sell his lancer, liftback and corolla xl.

I got the chance to be with him in a lot of car shows, races legal and illegal. Fortunately, we were only spectators. I also met a few friends who also were into races but i guess when we got older, we mellowed down and just decided to stick at home.

My first car was a 1982 Toyota Corona Silver Edition. It was really special to me since i got this car with the help of my girlfriend who is now my wife and the mother of my firstborn. I got the car last 2005, with a bad paint, old interior, beat up engine and without air conditioning. Little by little with our savings, we had it overhauled, painted and even changed the whole interior. We also bought air conditioning and a few accessories for it. We really love our first car and we will never forget our experiences with it.

My next post about cars is our second car and my plans.... hopefully i can save to improve its condition and performance...

Revive my Blog

It has been a while since i wrote a blog here in this site. I have been busy with our office blog and other internet ads to promote our office since i am employed as a sales staff. Fortunately, i still have this personal blog that i can use to write anything under the sun.

I remember the last time i wrote something here was last Christmas 2007. Its already November 2008 which means that this blog was at a standstill for almost a year. Well, i guess this will be a start for a new attitude in blogging.

As i was online with my ym account a few weeks ago, a friend from high school suddenly typed a message. We exchanged a few questions about our current busy life for a few minutes. While asking about my present job, he told me he will teach me to earn extra thru blogging. I got curious but i decided to inquire more. I also decided to meet him to learn more about this "extra income" so i mentioned it to my wife and we decided to visit their house.

To cut a long story short, i got hooked into earning thru my blog since then. I started earning last week thru google adsense but it is so minimal and almost negligible. But i won't give up, i am still studying ways how to make money thru blogging so i guess i have to be patient. Most bloggers who started also took months before they started earning. Patience is indeed a virtue.