Sunday, June 28, 2009

Personal Finance

"So, hows your finances going?"

"That's personal."

Corny, I know. And its not even a joke. Care to guess why its personal? No? Because it's a mess! So messy, I've hit mid-life crisis and have nothing to my name (ok, that's an exaggeration, like I said, it's personal). Certainly not for lack of knowledge, I've read dozens of books about it, and while I can't exactly teach a course on it, I can easily pretend that I do (or so I claim, I don't really have proof.) So when I came across Carlo Ople's blog about a free personal and practical finance forum, I wasn't sure if I wanted to go.

Of course being the loser that I am, I didn't really have plans last Saturday, so I went. And boy was I glad I did. J. Randell Tiongson was cool, he was funny and witty, he seemed nice and warm, and he had a way of presenting finance in such a basic and simple way that made you want to listen and pay attention.

Go check out his blog if you want to know more.

Oh yeah, and I forgot, one more reason why it was cool! Free food!
Sorry, I messed up this photo, but it was really good. Thanks to Quick Plate which was Mia's, Randell's wife, catering company.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sandbox has been launched!

I repeat Sandbox has been launched. Not that you don't know about it. How can you not when it's all over the mass media? I even wrote about Mo's Cash in A Box game a couple of weeks ago. So what am I talking about exactly? I'm talking about the Sandbox Launch Party held last Thursday at Bureau Bar at A. Venue in Makati.

Let me see...
Cute chicks everywhere... check.
Overflowing food and drinks... check.
Fun show, check.
Where do I sign up?

Yeah! My favorite DJ Mo Twister is in the house! Also saw Brent and this sexy young lady, Chris Tiu and Ramon Bautista. If you want to see more of them, read no further and head on over to Sandbox!

What else are you looking for? It's got a blog feature, you can hook up with old friends and yet-to-meet new friends, you can upload your photos and videos, you can download music and games and even buy trendy stuff all in one place!

Fun fun fun right? Now if only I could've worn a more appropriate shirt for the event. I thought it was a cool idea when I bought it. I didn't think it was so cool anymore after the cute chicks and the celebs were giving me the look over before posing with me.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Happy Independence Day?

Although I'm not entirely sure what we have to be happy about. Are we truly independent? Is anyone ever independent? Then how come we can't do anything without consulting somebody else? "Hold on, I'll check with my wife..." or "I'll have to get back to you on that." Heck, I can't even type this article without the spellchecker!

Of course one might argue that this has nothing to do with individual independence. Sure, but then does our country ever do anything independent? Don't we have to rely on the dollar, the world economy, pressure from China, and a million other things whenever our country enact a policy? In fact, probably the only thing that our country does independently is complain about how we are being maligned by other countries in their TV shows and articles--not that it's necessarily true. (I was supposed to say launch Con-Ass without our knowledge, but we all know those congressmen have no independent bone in their bodies.)

Not that independence is so great. In fact I think it's overrated. Sure we want to be free from foreign oppressors. That clearly is an upside of this so-called independence. Then again, we only traded foreign oppressors for local ones. And you know what's an even better news? We're actually paying them to do this to us.

So where am I going with this really? Am I one of those weirdos who wish we are still under American rule and thus de facto American citizens? Nope, no thank you.

These are just some random musings that to me seems to make sense in a sordid sort of way. Because really, can you honestly say that you are happy with our independence? Think about it. I'd really love to know.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Write your congressman today!

You know how you always hear about how people in the US write their congressman whenever they support a bill that is contrary to the interest of his constituents? I've always wanted to do that. The Congress is called the House of Representatives after all for a reason, so they should be accountable to us, the people they represent.

Yet they don't seem to be interested in things that we as a people are interested in. When was the last time the Congress went on overtime (like they did last week when they voted on Con-Ass) for a bill we truly cared about? How about compensations for the human rights violation during the Marcos regime? Or stiffer penalties for cellphone snatchers? Child pornography? Free legal assistance? Turning my birthday to Health Worker's Day (since I am in fact a healthworker)? Ok, so perhaps you don't care much about that last one, but you get the point.

I think it's about time that we request our respective reps' report card. What have they been doing with our hard earned money? How have they been spending their time in the office? I know my boss will fire my ass if all I do each day is bicker about how we want to rearrange the office furniture. Ok, so it's not exactly the same as this Con-Ass crap, but we just don't care about that stuff. And it seems only they do! Well, them and a certain somebody with the initials similar to one of the top 2 network in the country. (No, not Asiong B. Salonga)

The only question is how? Now I'm not really a fan of rallies--its a vague kind of noise because its always being done--so that's out. Not vote for them the next election? I think that's pretty much a no-brainer, except some of us would vote for them nonetheless. And it doesn't really pin-point the exact cause of our disgust. Can we maybe write them letters, email, or send SMS to them? That might actually catch their attention, when they're actually pin-pointed. It's harder to target when they're hiding behind hundreds of others like them. I don't know how to do any of those things though. If only I know how we can pull this off... Any thoughts?

PS Somebody listed down the list of congressmen who aprroved Con-Ass here. And I see my congresswoman's name here. Zenaida Angping, I'm never voting for you again! Regardless if we're somehow related.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A better reason to sign up with Sandbox?

Mo Twister's Cash in the Box!

Ok, so who exactly is Mo? If you don't know him, there's still time to start listening to his radio show Good Times with Mo, Mojo and Grace Lee, 6 to 9am Monday to Thursdays at Magic 89.9. I've been following it, using it as my alarm clock even, for a few months now and I must say, it's fun! Not always classy, but always funny! Sure helps break the monotony of the morning grind. In fact one of the ways they liven things up is through some of the contest they play or the topic they ask listeners to contribute their thoughts on. Calling and joining might just land you a ticket to a hot concert (like the EHeads concert last March and the Davids last month) or even GC to places like Hotel Sofitel's Spiral.

So to go back to the game... This is something like that, except it's even better! Every day (at least everyday they're on, which is actually 4days/wk) they give away money. All you have to do is be lucky enough for your phone number to get called, and then to actually know how much they're supposed to be giving away that day. So how could you know? It's really quite simple really, all you have to do is read his blog at sandbox. You have to sign up first though.

Yesterday, they gave away P25,371.14 and P10,748.69 today. Not bad huh? Sure beats any concert ticket or even GC to Spiral. Oh, and one last thing, Mo is calling random numbers from a list he has from somewhere. Yesterday he said there's about 200 there, so fat chance that your's is in there, so even if somehow you managed to get somebody who's already on sandbox to tell you the price, you still have to actually sign up, comment on his blog and give your number so he can include it in his list.

The question that's begging to be asked now is: How do I know that it's not rigged to allow only predetermined people to actually win a prize?

I think this is the real deal. For one thing, they call people who don't seem to know the answer because they are simply unaware of the contest. That in itself is nothing because that part too can be stage-managed. Although I mention this because I read an entry in sandbox earlier about Mae, a blogger who's also on sandbox, lamenting her lost. She was actually the 2nd or 3rd one called today ( I can't remember except that one they called was guy with a really loud dog), and she just wasn't prepared. I'm pretty sure she's not lying about that. Still, that's not incontrovertible proof, even if it's pretty good. Another reason why I say this is they don't just call people who knows the show, yesterday, a woman they called begged off and hanged up on them. I'm sure that couldn't be good for their self-esteem, so I doubt they'd rig it that way.

And of course, what do you lose if you give it a try? 5 mins of your time, maybe? Or none if you end up enjoying sandbox. Oh, and I hear they're giving away P40K on Monday to celebrate their 4th Anniversary. Forty thousand pesos! For me, that's 40,000 reasons to sign up!

(Click the image to sign up!)

And of course I have a better reason to believe this game is the real deal, indisputable as far as I'm concerned. What is it? Let's just say I'm P10,748.69 richer after today.