Sunday, September 26, 2010

Why and How I Started Investing/Trading in the Stock Market

 Last year as an effect of the global economic crisis, the bank's interest rate on deposit accounts was reduced tremendously that my little savings deposited on my time deposit account earned a very minimal interest.  Starting from 5% annual interest, it dropped to as low as 2.5% annual interest.  A 20% withholding tax is still to be deducted from the meager earnings I get from my savings.

This situation pushed me to start reading books from financial experts.  I bought books written by Mr. Robert Kiyosaki and Mr. Colayco and registered to Bro. Bo's Truly Rich Club.  Having read the insights of these financial experts, my financial outlook in life changed.  I now understand the value of investing.

There are different investment vehicle available in the market but what really caught my attention is the stock market.  Before, my perception about stock market is that, only the rich with large amount of capital can invest in this market and that it's a very complicated and difficult thing to learn.  But when I started reading articles from Truly Rich Club regarding the stock market, little by little I was enlightened. 

Of course, I did not immediately plunged into investing in the stock market, I did a lot of readings first not only from Bro. Bo's Truly Rich Club but also from other sources.  I visited Philippine Stock Exchange website and monitored the stock's movement of companies I'm interested in.  I also visited CitiSecOnline website, the online stockbroker Bro. Bo recommends and I attended the free seminars they hosted.  In other words, I did a research on stock market's ins and outs (at least the basic ones) before I opened an account at Citisec.

Now, it's more than one year since I started investing/trading in the Philippines Stock market and I'm really happy that I did.  It's high risk, yes, but you can always develop strategies to counter the risks. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tony Roma's Adventure

Picture from Tony Roma's Website
Last week I met with some of my friends whom I have not seen for some time.  Actually, we just work in the same office but we seldom see each other because we belong to different departments and our work stations are located on different floors of the building.  We just communicate through e-mails.

After some time of discussing as to where we are going to have our dinner, one of my friends suggested that we try Tony Roma's.  I remember when we were still assigned in Japan, we passed by a Tony Roma's place and she had mentioned that she really wanted to dine in this place but we never had a chance because aside from being expensive, it's hard to communicate.

This time, we're here in Manila, no more communication barriers and we have some money to splurge (occasionally).  At last, we conquered you Tony Roma's. 

Looking at the menu book, it's easy to pick what we want because each menu is briefly described.  Our only problem is that we don't know how big is the serving of each menu so we asked the waiter for some advice.  After some question and answer portion, we ordered 1 full serving of Sonoma Salad, full slab of The Original Baby Back Ribs and The Roma Feast.  The two entrees are served with two side dishes.  There are different choices of side dishes  and we chose corn on the cob, coleslaw and baked potato.

When our order was served, our eyes popped because what was said which is ideal to be shared by two can really be shared by four.  It was really a challenge for us to finish all the food in front of us but in the end, we lose ... but there's nothing to worry, taking home of left overs is always an option.

Sonoma Salad
The salad is so crisp and fresh, the chicken is tender and tasty and the dressing is delicious.  The taste of chopped nuts was an added flavor.

The Roma Feast and The Original Baby Back Ribs
The Roma Feast includes Carolina Honey Ribs (a little sweet flavor), delicious chicken BBQ, a little spicy sausage, corn on the cob and coleslaw.  I just can't decide what to pick first.  Hmmm .... delicious!

The Original Baby Back Ribs is mouth watering, so tender and moist.  If I had an additional space in my stomach, I can finish the full slab of this ribs.

All in all, our experience at Tony Roma's was really great.  Real value for our money ... great food ... great service ... great ambiance.  Everything's great.  The bonding time with my friends was perfect.

Looking forward for my next visit and this time, I will try their char-grilled steaks.

It's eating time
 Special thanks to Leo for bringing his camera.  Lesson for a starting blogger like me ... always have a camera ready.  Blogs with pictures are always interesting to visit.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Saturday Fun at Splash Island

Picture taking at the Splash Island entrance while waiting for the others.
Last Saturday, my family and I went to Splash Island together with some of my officemates.  It was a treat from our friend Val.  Thank you Baldo, we really had a great time.

For the kids, it's their first time to visit Splash Island but for me and my husband, it's already our third time but still, we enjoy the rides Splash Island has to offer.

If you're not brave enough to try the rides, you can just waddle at the pool of "Agos Grandes" and wait for the scheduled operation of machine generated waves or you can get on a rubber ride at "Balsa River" and drift along a gently flowing river.  There's always something to do for everyone.

The resort's operation is from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM but the rides has it's own schedule of operation so better acquaint yourself with the rides' schedule so you can plan your activities.  The schedule changes depending on the season so it is better to call them first if you have any plans of going to Splash Island.  You can get their numbers on the brochure I will attach at the end of this post.

Bringing of food and beverages inside the resort are strictly prohibited, bags are checked at the entrance.   Anyway there are restaurants and food kiosks inside so you will always have something to eat or drink.  Just don't forget to bring extra money.

Christine having fun at Splash Island's "Water Wahoo", she just can't leave this kiddie pool.

CJ imitating a statue in front of the resto.

Christine and I enjoying the "Twisted Palms" slide.
A short but heart stopping slide at Splash Island's "Big Bamboo".
My husband and kids playing at the big pool "Agos Grandes" while waiting for the scheduled artificial wave.

CJ doing his sun bathing at "Agos Grandes"

Christine enjoying the slide at "Twin Coco Knots", a slide designed for kids.
CJ also enjoyed the slide at "Twin Coco Knots". 
Taking some rest at the "Balsa River"
A family ride at "Rio Montanosa".
 Aside from the slides, Splash Island also offers activities for team building.  We divided our group into two and we had a little competition.  We played games I never played before including wall climbing.  A very tiring activity but was really fun.

Team 1 getting ready for the "bamboo game". 

Team 1 and Team 2 in action ... "Plastic rolling game?"

Team 1 and Team 2 in action ... "Sleigh game?"
And the last, wall climbing....

Me and my husband, outdoing each other.
Seconds later, I was left behind
Minutes later, the second climber of Team 2 already on her fairness I'm already on my way down.  I have reached the top, and I'm so proud of what I have accomplished.
Our day at Splash Island was really fun although Christine was a little disappointed because she haven't tried the other slides such as "Magellan's drop",  "King Pilipit", "Dos Supremos" and "Rio Montanosa".  But that's okay, I assured her that we will be coming back.  Anyway, Splash Island is just a less than hour drive from our place so definitely we will be coming back for more.

For more information on Splash Island, please browse their brochure on this link.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Guide for Personal Safety from Lightning

Picture from National Geographic
I was doing some research on lightning protection system when I come across this appendix from National Fire Protection Association standard (NFPA 780) which furnish guide for personal safety from lighting.

This information is useful especially this rainy season when almost everyday we experience lightning activity.

According to NFPA 780, during lightning activity, avoid going outdoors unless it is necessary.  Seek shelter in structures such as the following:

a. Dwellings or buildings that are protected against lightning  (structures with well designed and installed lightning protection  system).
b. Underground shelters such as subways, tunnels and caves.
c. Large metal-frame buildings.
d. Large unprotected buildings.
e. Enclosed automobiles, buses and other vehicles with metal tops and bodies.
f.  Enclosed metal trains and street cars
g. Enclosed metal boats and ships
h. Boats that are protected against lightning
i.  City streets shielded by nearby buildings

The following structures/locations should be avoided:

a. Small unprotected buildings, barns, sheds and so forth
b. Tents and temporary shelters
c.  Automobiles (non-metal tops or open)
d.  Trailers (non-metal or open)
e.  Hilltops and ridges
f.  Areas on top of buildings
g.  Open fields, athletic fields, golf courses
h.  Parking lots and tennis courts
i.   Swimming pools, lakes and seashores
j.  Near wire fences, clothes lines, overhead lines and railroad tracks
k. Under isolated trees
l.  Near electrical appliances, telephones, plumbing fixtures and metal or electrically conductive objects.

There are instances when it is not possible to choose a location that offers good protection from lightning.  In this case, the following should be observed:

a. Seek depressed areas - avoid mountain tops, hilltops and other high places
b. Seek dense woods - avoid isolated trees
c. Seek buildings, tents and shelters in low area
d. If caught in an exposed area, crouch as low as possible, keeping feet together, putting hands on knees.  To minimize the risk of direct strike, it is necessary to keep as low as possible but do not lie flat.  Minimize the area of the body in contact with the ground.

Lightning activities are natural phenomenon and we have no control over it so it is better to take precautionary measures to avoid injuries or deaths.  It is better safe than sorry.