Monday, January 26, 2015

GVM / Fight Club wisdom

Don't be afraid to lose.
(image from the internet)
Have a great week ahead, folks!


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Fweeeeee at last - part 3

This is the conclusion. :) I talked about expanding my office income through freelance work and about keeping my lifestyle low-key. I was supposed to end it at part two, but I figured I'd expound a little more on how I finally got out of debt. Aside from making more and spending less, I also explored other ways to manage my debt.
I started by snipping all of my credit cards. Credit cards give people the illusion of having more money than they actually do. They were very helpful to me at the time of the cancer treatment - at the time, I had five credit cards, all of which were maxed out by hospital bills and medicines. Immediately after Mom passed away, I started paying them off little by little, but I had to make sure I wouldn't be tempted to use them for other things so I just gave them up altogether.

As for the amount that was still there, I took a big risk and defaulted on my payments (just to be clear, I don't recommend this - it's really bad for your credit record. But having moved to a new job, I wasn't eligible yet for a personal loan). The credit card interest was killing me, and I didn't want to pay forever. I let a few months pass, and when the collections agents began calling, I negotiated an amicable settlement option for each of my cards. I paid a significantly lower interest rate, and I even got to settle the larger amounts on installment!

My credit rating isn't all too good right now, but it's okay - I want to live without credit cards anyway. I just got myself a debit Visa (from Unionbank) and MasterCard (from BDO) to transact online. :)


Friday, January 23, 2015

FTF / Working and playing in Davao!

In November 2014, I found myself packing a bag for a week-long trip to Davao and General Santos to conduct research for one of the brands I'm managing for the agency. I was traveling with Jen and Posie from the Insighting Team, and in both places, our clients were with us for the study. Our itinerary was full during the day, but after six, we had some time in our hands to have a little bit of fun! :)

On our first night in Davao, Jen, Posie, and I took a cab to Glamour Crab Buffet. I actually don't eat crabs anymore - I used to, when I was growing up, but for some reason I just stopped - but I wanted to get to know the ladies, I joined them still. What I didn't consume in crabs, I compensated for in shrimps. (After dinner, I headed off to Metro Lifestyle Gym to meet the folks from DEFTAC Davao, with whom I trained on my second night there.)
Pasalubong galore
A prayer.
For the most part, Davao was one big food trip - everything we ate was just so good, made from the freshest produce. We were billeted in The Pinnacle Hotel and Suites, a nice local hotel, and of course I maximized the buffet breakfasts, haha! After crabs, it made perfect sense to have tuna, which we did for lunch at Ellen's Tuna Queen. This was followed by coffee and cake at Basti's Brew. :)

No trip would be complete without pasalubong shopping, of course. With our clients, we scoured the fruit stands for the smelly durian. I'm personally not a fan of that fruit (or fruits in general - unless they're served to me on a platter, haha!), so I ended up just buying a pair of pearl earrings from a street vendor - and I've been wearing them everyday since.

We swung by SM Lanang Premier on our last night there, and of course I visited SMX Convention Center Davao. It was the last property that I wrote a brochure for - I was commissioned for it a few months after I decided to leave the company. There was a conference on Islamic relations so I didn't get to explore the place.

The next morning, Jen, Posie and I hopped on a van bound for General Santos, the next stop of our research adventure. Before leaving, though, we made one last stop in the Holy Spirit Adoration Convent to say our prayers. I had a lot to be grateful for, and although I'm not particularly religious (I'm spiritual, not religious), I found myself in prayer, thanking God for all the wonderful things I got to see in Davao.


Thursday, January 22, 2015

LT / Old notebook for an old soul

On good months, I go through journals like a hot knife through butter. And my most recent one, Joandrea, is down to its last few pages. I stopped by Powerbooks last December to prepare for the inevitable, but I couldn't find a notebook that I could lovingly call my journal for the coming months. The same day, however, when I got home, I unearthed a notebook that Jerry gave to me as a gift when he got back from his vacation last May.
It's an old leather-bound pocket notebook with grids. This is the first time I will be using a journal with graphing lines (I almost always go for blank paper - I'm not particularly fond of ruled pages that limit what or how I write), and already I'm thinking of playing with sketches. Good thing I have plenty of pencils lying around at home - maybe I'll be able to draw something that doesn't end up looking like a squished cockroach.

Since it's a pocket notebook, I'm projecting I'll only have it for about four months, tops. I hope I get to fill it with positive thoughts, stories, and memories this year.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

MW / Spotify is a godsend

Yesterday, I talked about how technology is helping me with my BJJ journey. And now I'm going to talk about how technology, again, is helping me - this time, with my further education in music! Spotify is awesome! I'm too cheap to get a premium subscription, so yes, I have to put up with ads in between songs. But I don't mind those pesky ads if it means discovering great new music.
(image from the internet)
I'm a sucker for indie acts, and Spotify is a great way to listen to fresh music from all over the planet. I usually pick soundtracks of US television shows (like Suits), because it's from there that I get to discover artists I've not heard of before. While I know I'll always prefer old music (jazz standards and classical), I still appreciate music hot off the studio - granted, of course, that it's really worth a listen.

The downside, apart from the ads? Well, the bucket list of the musicians I have to hear live before I die just got longer. WAY longer. Haha!


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

HFT / Let it flow, let it flow!

I apologize for the title. I couldn't resist.

Anyway, as part of my education in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, for the business and for myself, I downloaded an app called BJJ Flow. My work schedule often gets in the way of training, so I had to find other ways to learn. So one time during post-prod work, I made full use of the WiFi at WeLovePost - I scoured Google Play Store for BJJ apps and found BJJ Flow.
The app is a wonderfully organized catalogue of top and bottom positions, submissions, passes, sweeps, recoveries, escapes, takedowns, drills, and even tips! The app links you to YouTube videos of tutorials and demonstrations for every imaginable move. So whenever I have WiFi (my "unlimited" data plan isn't all that unlimited after all) access, I watch as many clips as I can! :)

While there's no substitute for actual training, I really need to find a way to work around my schedule. Thank God for technology! :)


Monday, January 19, 2015

GVM / The journey

One day at a time, dear friends. One day at a time.
The Man
(image from the internet)
Have a great week ahead, folks!