Thursday, January 28, 2010

Book worm

I've always loved books. I've got a collection of books by different authors...Michael Crichton, Erich Segal, John Grisham, Danielle Steele, JK Rowling, Paulo Coehlo, etc. I have travel books, lifestyle books, investment books, among others. The love of books I got maybe from my father who also loves reading. My sisters all love to read and buy books, magazines and stuff. Imagine our house full of books, but without a decent library or book corner. : (

Anyway, I read books for my entertainment, to increase my knowledge, live out a fantasy, and even understand myself and what I am feeling.

Right now, I am in the mood to understand myself more. Nothing beats a good book when you're down, and in the "me against the world" feeling.

I would like to get a book this Valetine's day...hint..hint. Beats getting expensive flowers and chocolates this valentine's day (but would accept if someone will give them hehe)

Here's my list:

1 The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth by M. Scott Peck

2. Positive Thinking Every Day: An Inspiration for Each Day of the Year by Norman Vincent Peale

3. How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie

4. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

All available in any Powerbooks outlet. Visit Powerbooks online!

In the near future, I would love to have a part time job in a bookstore...I dont know what kind of job, but I welcome the idea of being inside the bookstore, minding the books, knowing clients' preferences, guiding them on what to buy...smelling coffee inside a bookstore, being surrounded by knowledge and ideas just waiting to be read and absorbed.

Someday, I'll have my own bookstore : )...definitely someday!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Saying Goodbye

Old Irish Blessing

"May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand."

shared by Ambassador Kristie Kenney on Mike Enriquez' Am Radio Program. Today is her last working day in the Philippines. I feel as if I'm losing someone dear, as if she knows me personally. But maybe because I admire her as a woman of substance, as a leader with a humbling inspiring aura, as an icon of empowerment and democracy.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

How to Build Your Investment Portfolio

My husband and I started building our investment portfolio in December 2006 before I gave birth to my eldest daughter Lia. We purchased stocks of EDC (Energy Development Corporation) at P 3.20 per share for 10,000 shares. At that time, we were still grappling with all the investment lingo eg. stocks, equities, mutual funds, uitfs, etc.

We were inspired to make investments when we read this book "Rich dad, Poor dad" .

After that, we bought other books for us to understand where to invest and build our portfolio.

Back then our investment objective is for our retirement and educational fund for our daughters. Right now, we are slowly beginning to diversify our portfolio towards wealth management and putting our savings into different kids of investments like equity fund, balanced fund, time deposit, stocks, gold/jewelry. Our portfolio is still a work in progress since we have yet to invest in real estate, farm-fruit bearing trees, UITFs, etc.

I would like to share with you how we started building our investment portfolio, the supermom way : ) and I hope you will be inspired to invest also.

1. Finding a StockBroker

We researched on how to have a stockbroker who will assist us in buying and trading stocks at PSE. We chose Wealth Securities Inc. in February 2007 and the application procedure went smooth since we already have original stock certificates of EDC. If you dont have original stock certificates, you would need at least P100,000 of investments in order to apply to them. Through them, we were able to buy and sell many stocks (EDC, SMDC, VLL, AP, NRCP, LND). The earning we made through stock trading went to the downpayment of our car, AVANZA in November 2007. yipee!

At first I thought that having a stockbroker will be really expensive. But only minimal fees (commission rate, doc stamps, vat ) were charged to us for every buy/sell transaction. At present, my husband is the one who uses Wealth Securities Inc. when he wants to buy and sell stocks because I already have another account with an online stockbrocker, Citiseconline Stockbrokers, which I started in August 2008. I liked the idea of having an online stockbroker and having access to their investment guide, market researches, technical and fundamental analyses of stocks everyday. Also, its very easy to buy and sell online without having to call a stockbroker for the transaction. Also, minimal fees are deducted from each transaction. You only have to deposit your money to your account in Citiseconline so that you have enough cash position to buy stocks online. If you dont have enough cash in your account, you cannot proceed with any transaction. You can deposit your account to BPI Savings or BDO. And the money will be credited to your account within 24 hours.

Since then, I bought six stocks (Ayala Land, Jollibee, Manila Water, China Bank, Security Bank and EDC) which I am keeping for the long term, and I am proud to say that I have gained 29.32% as of this date from these stocks. Not bad given that the interest rate for savings is less than 1% and time deposit is around 3-4.5% only. Last year was a not so good year for my investments since most stocks were affected by the financial crisis. But I saw it us an opportunity to buy really good stocks with cheap rates.

Even though stocks are high risk investments, the return in investment is also high. If you are considering where to invest your money, you have to determine if you are a high risk investor or a low-risk investor, from there you will be able to choose what type of investments you will make for yourself.

Other investment instruments that we made since 2007 are the following:

2. Sun Life Flexilink Balanced Fund
Started in February 2007 with 90,000 shares priced at 1.75. Now, the share is priced 1.78.

3. Prulink Equity Fund
Started in August 2008 with 40,000 shares priced at 0.98. Now, share is priced at 0.82 which was affected by the financial crisis. : (

4. Time Deposit earning 3% only - so far this is the investment with minimal gain but the big part of our investment.

5. Gold Jewelry - sets of jewelry which I can pass down to my daughters and I can carry in times of emergency hehehe. I started buying them in 2008.

I will continue with Part 2 for details of #2-5 and future prospects for investments.

As a supermom, you have to be in control of your investments and finances. The only way to do that is to be proactive, save money, invest in different ways and manage efficiently. Good day!

How to Sing Lullabies the Wonder Mom Way

My eldest daughter, Lia, has started to like singing before going to bed at night, maybe to calm her or calm me.
Her favorite song is "May Bukas Pa" which is the popular theme song of ABS-CBN telenovela of the same title, starring "Santino" and "Bro" (Jesus).


I'm a bit ashamed to admit that Supermom cant sing with her the song because I dont know the lyrics so I searched the internet and got the lyrics. The lyrics are very inspirational. There is hope for the future if you believe and have faith in the Lord. Amen.

Happy singing!

" May Bukas Pa"

Huwag damdamin ang kasawian
May bukas pa sa iyong buhay
Sisikat din ang iyong araw
Ang landas mo ay mag-iilaw

Sa daigdig ang buhay ay ganyan
Mayroong ligaya at lumbay
Maghintay at may nakalaang bukas

May bukas pa sa iyong buhay
Tutulungan ka ng Diyos na may lalang
Ang iyong pagdaramdam
Idalangin mo sa Maykapal
Na sa puso mo ay mawala nang lubusan

Sa daigdig ang buhay ay ganyan
Mayroong ligaya at lumbay
Maghintay at may nakalaang bukas

May bukas pa sa iyong buhay
Tutulungan ka ng Diyos na may lalang
Ang iyong pagdaramdam
Idalangin mo sa Maykapal
Na sa puso mo ay mawala nang lubusan

Ang iyong pagdaramdam
Idalangin mo sa Maykapal
Na sa puso mo ay mawala nang lubusan


How to Travel the Wonder Mom Way

Travel frees the mind and spirit!

Lets go to the 17th Travel Tour Expo on February 19- 21, 2010 at the SMX Convention center Halls 2, 3 & 4, Seashell Drive Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City...

For a mother like me, planning a family vacation takes 2-3 months planning, given that the vacation should be enjoyable to my two very young kids. Travelling with two toddlers is no joke. You have to consider several things in order for the whole family to enjoy the vacation. For this year, we're planning to go to Boracay on April 9-11, 2010 so I hope we can get good deals in the travel husband and I have been going to this travel fair since 2006 when we bought our honeymoon package to Bangkok, then our trip to Hongkong Disneyland last year.

Here are some tips to consider when travelling with kids:
1. organize the flight schedule times during nap time of children so that they wont be fussy or hyper active during flights
2. consider the road trip itinerary and that you can have access to food, restaurants in case children get hungry. Better to have packed snacks, drinks just in case road trip may take a long time with no stop-over.

My sister, another wondermom, also shared her tips on how to travel with kids:
3. If they are not able to take a nap, ensure to bring activities they can do to pass time ( e.g. coloring books, puzzles, play dough, etc. ); Bring out one activity or toy at a time so they will continue being excited and interested.
4. make sure snacks are in ziploc plastic bags, easy to pack and easy to dispose as well. drinks should be in their own sippy cups or in a container which you can reseal if they are not able to finish it.
5. Bring lots of wipes, tissues and alcohol/ hand sanitizer
6. Dont forget to bring lots of patience ...

What's your tip for travelling with kids safely and fun?

How to Have Good, Reliable Child Care Support ("Yayas")

My two "yayas" who were taking care of my children last year did not go back at the start of 2010 for family and personal the shortest possible notice...they only confirmed it on dec. 29 (or maybe i was just in denial)...and my husband and I are on panic mode

Fast forward to mother was able to get "yayas" from our province in arayat learning from our experience:

1. Get reliable recommendations from relatives - yayas i believe should come from families that you know so that they would not just leave you as they please without considering your situation and your's child's transition to another yaya...It helps that they were recommended by titas, cousins, and that you know their family background so its easier to discipline them as well...but im not saying that relatives cant go wrong...its just that its much easier to negotiate with them because their "relatives".. im not saying also that non-relatives cant be learning from this experience is that getting good yayas are trial and error, you just have to keep finding the perfect match for your family.

2. Get valuable support from grandparents, siblings - I am so much thankful for having my mother and mother in law to help us while we were looking for mother was the one who went to our province to get yayas and my mother in law is the one taking care of my children at the moment while my hubby and i are working...having them is really a blessing..priceless : ) Its also good that they are there to supervise the yayas until they are already "trained" on how to take care of our children. Also, during weekends, i ask help from my younger siblings...its a plus that our family is an extended're not alone on emergency child care.

3. Train them as much as possible - You can never expect your yayas to have the same care and concern you have for your children..they can only do so much given all your instructions everyday...I have already accepted my role to remind them always if there are lapses in tasks and to patiently (as much as I can) instruct them on what to do on certain situations...Its also a must to train them on emergency situations, who to contact, list of emergency numbers to call, etc...

4. Give them space - its very tiring to care for 2 toddlers, i almost literally gave up on my children during the Christmas break, they're so much "hyper" that its so tiring at the end of the day, you cant put on a smiling face anymore. That's why during weekends its better if your yayas have a short break from taking care of your children so that at the start of the week, they wont feel tired and grouchy to your children. They still have the energy to play with them, teach them school work, how to speak, and how to show good manners at the least, whew...a challenging task even for me.

5. reward them for good performance - its good to reward yayas for their good performance. increase their salary every year, given them non-monetary benefits like day off at least 2x a month, vacation leave at least once a year, free transportation to province, xmas bonus, birthday gifts, birthday leave, free annual physical exam, SSS contribution, philhealth contribution, among others...I gave all of these to my former yaya but still they opted to have their own goals for this year, which I dont blame them. Its good to keep them happy as they will be more than willing to take care of children.

I hope my two new yayas will stay longer with us...

What are your experiences in finding child care support?

Setting your Personal Goals for 2010

I'm now downloading all the videos and still images that I took since June 2009 from our camcorder Sony DCR 220. It's been ages since I downloaded and I must admit because of lack of willpower and my choice of sleeping than staying up late. But now, I promised to do a lot of things this 2010, including being a videographer and Search Engine Optimization Specialist.

Here are my goals for 2010:

1. Discipline my three year old and 1.8 year old to have good manners. Right now Lia and Ali are into the crying and tantrum stage and I am desperately losing my patience and my bag of tricks on how to discipline them...further details in another post.

2. Arrange all pictures and videos documenting our milestones, travels, ocassions, etc.. so that my kids will relive these memories and always have a happy smile on their faces. But first things first, I have to learn how to be an expert videographer (another post) and learn the tricks of our SONY DCR 220.

3. Support my husband for NCA exams in August 2010 (another post!)

4. Manage investments and finances while having a full time job

5. Train my yayas to take care of my children similar to how i take care of them ...whew ...this is the year's biggest challenge i think

6. Make money

7. Blog and blog and blog...eventually making Wonder Mom Guide the hippest thing in 2010!

Other random goals till and lot...supermom malangi4ever, paris and rome...boracay...part time in bookstore...paypal work at home...supermom car...preschool for lia and ali...stronger investments...10th year anniversary with luther...goodle adsence...of course while being a supermom and fulltime wife to my husband

What are your goals this 2010?

Now is the time to Blog

It was ages ago since i entered a blog on the internet. This new year comes with new expectations and I hope that this year, I will be able to start my blog about "Wonder Mom" and share my experiences as a fulltime working mom of two girls, giving guides to investments, child care, travel, books, among others.

I hope 2010 will be a positive life changing year for me and my family and for the Philippines as well!

Good day everyone!