Author Archives: Joseph Romana


Economy Wars III:  Commute or Drive?

Friday, 27 May 2016 | Written by
commuting commute or not to commute? To drive or not to drive? Those are the questions many people who live in Metro Manila face, especially in light of increasing standards of living and stresses that come along with travelling within the Metro. In particular, the stress on the pockets or bank accounts. In this episode of the Economy Wars series, we’ll take a look at the match up between commuting and bringing your car in going around the Metro. Please keep in mind that the assumption here is that you have a vehicle that’s already paid for and as such, this discussion excludes the cost of actually buying a car. Continue reading


How to Save Money – Not!

Friday, 29 April 2016 | Written by
shopping’t you just tired of always reading about how to become financially responsible and making your money grow, particularly through saving?  My golly, it can sometimes feel like swallowing our 105th piece of polvoron in one sitting – nakakaumay!  Well…have no fear!  I’m here to save the day! I’m here to give you variety – pampaalis umay ika nga!  I’m going to show you how to save money – not!!! Continue reading

car key

Economy Wars II: Brand New or Second Hand Car? (Part 2 of 2)

Friday, 22 April 2016 | Written by
car key

Part 1 here.

One of the reasons why Second Hand Cars (SHC) are considered the underdog is maintenance.  SHC that’s bought from people or institutions you don’t personally know or whose driving and car maintenance habits are as clear to you as mud, then there’s a higher risk of your car needing serious repairs sooner than expected.  This can make it rather costly to maintain it.  The best version of SHC is one that’s bought from someone you know to be very meticulous and careful when it comes to car maintenance and has really good driving habits, which can give you the assurance that it’s well maintained and consequently, won’t cost much by way of maintenance and repairs.  Continue reading

car key

Economy Wars II:  Brand New or Second Hand Car? (Part 1 of 2)

Thursday, 21 April 2016 | Written by
car key about anybody’s bucket list includes having their very own car, one that they can really call their own.  Well, at least anybody who still doesn’t have their own car – and anybody who doesn’t have their own car who lives in Metro Manila.  With the very efficient mass transport system that we have here in the Metro, driving in traffic can be a small price to pay compared to getting stuck in the same traffic with many other people packed like sardines – some of whom may have either bad intentions or bad aromas. Continue reading


Economy Wars I:  Bulk Vs. Tingi (Retail)

Friday, 8 April 2016 | Written by
grocery I was a kid, which was like 10 years ago (kidding!), I would accompany my mom to the public market to buy food for the week ahead.  One of the most memorable things about such times was when she would negotiate for lower prices – “tawad” in local speak.  Most vendors she’d negotiate with would meet her in the middle – discounted price for bigger or larger orders.  Deal or no deal?  Deal! Continue reading

personal finance

Personal Rules for Personal Finances (Part 2 of 2)

Thursday, 31 March 2016 | Written by
personal finance

Part 1 here.


More than just the spelling, these two words are worlds apart when it comes to meaning.  Yet, many people can’t seem to tell the difference between the two.  Why?  It’s not because their brains don’t understand it – they perfectly do!  The problem is the other brain that usually takes over – the heart! Continue reading

personal finance

Personal Rules for Personal Finances (Part 1 of 2)

Wednesday, 30 March 2016 | Written by
personal finance Law applies to all, otherwise none at all.” – Former Manila Mayor Fred Lim

As much as our culture seems to abhor any semblance of strict implementation of laws due to memories of martial law, the law is actually a good thing. It becomes bad only when used by really bad people for their advantage. Continue reading


Foundations for Investing

Friday, 25 March 2016 | Written by
investment of new buildings – high rise ones at that – continue to sprout like mushrooms in Metro Manila and other key cities all over the Philippines.  One thing you’ll notice is they do seem to grow like mushrooms – they “grow up” relatively fast.  But what you may have not noticed is how long the buildings were actually constructed.  It’s because the biggest chunk of the work doesn’t happen above ground but below it. Continue reading


How To Go Bankrupt

Monday, 29 February 2016 | Written by
bankrupt just about any personal finance forum, Facebook group, and book, it’s always the same topic – how to get rich. I have to admit – sometimes it starts to sound boring and predictable. So for a change, this article will go totally against the grain and will teach you how to go bankrupt – easily. Continue reading

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