Author Archives: Miel Feria

Firefighter

5 Tips to Protect your Business from Fires

Thursday, 10 March 2016 | Written by
Firefighter

https://pixabay.com/en/firefighters-training-live-fire-1100811/Despite being celebrated as the Fire Prevention Month, March has more fires recorded than any other month of the year. Heralding the start of the Summer or dry months, March is often characterized by a certain dryness in the air and this lack of moisture often lead to dry plants and fields, making areas more susceptible to fires. Having been used to the cooler climates of the previous months, temperature altering appliances such as electric fans and air-conditioning units are used a little longer than usual. These practices and the uncharacteristically dry and hot environment often cause electric wires and appliances to overheat. Continue reading

homecoming

Homecoming

Friday, 31 July 2015 | Written by
homecoming

homecoming“Kamusta  ka na!?!”

“Ayos lang. Eto medyo pagod sa byahe pero masaya at nakarating din sa wakas.”

“Naku, hindi ka pa nasanay, ‘di ba nga nung pasko, 5 oras kayo naghintay sa airport? “

“Ikaw, kamusta na? Ilang taon na ang nakalipas pero parang di ka tumatanda. Napapatigil pa rin ako sa ngiti mo… hindi ko pa rin magawang tumingin sa mga mata mo…”

“Hay naku, wala na talagang asenso ang bansa… tara na nga, excited na silang makita ka…”

All of us have that one person who taught us how to love, that person who made us realize that having girl-crushes was more than just a phase. I am talking about that one person who unknowingly made us fall in love and made us confront that nagging voice inside. It was when we fell for her that we realize that we were different. I am talking about that first major crush and that first –and most painful – heartbreak.

For me that person was Amy.

I met Amy during the first day of first grade. We were both new to the school so naturally, we ended up being friends. We couldn’t be any different from each other, me, the chubby tomboy, and Amy, the fragile and delicate little girl but we got along well and soon became best of friends.

But having almost nothing in common took its toll. I joined the varsity and Amy joined the school choir. I wanted to stay friends with her but her new friends didn’t like me since I was not into girly things and it didn’t help either that my varsity-mates thought that she was weak and would often pick on her. Both busy with practice, we started hanging out less and less. It was so that by high school, all that was left of our once budding friendship were the shy Hi’s and Hello’s we would give each other when we meet in the hallway.

By then, I have come to realize that we were indeed different. I was athletic and she was not. I was into Science and Math, she was into Arts and Music.  I like the outdoors and she was more of a homebody.  I was outgoing and she was shy. I was the class clown and she was the quiet, reserved type.  But the biggest and most glaring difference of all – I liked her and she was straight.

It took me a while to realize but when I did, I knew I liked her more than a friend. I didn’t want to accept it, didn’t want to accept that I was a lesbian but despite my initial rejection of what I am, I could not get myself to deny the fact that I loved her and I was so scared that she might find out.

I never came out in high school – that happened when I was in college – so people never really knew about my sexuality. Even when I have come out in college, I could not get myself to come out in my home town.  All the more when Amy and I started becoming close when I came home for a vacation one summer.

We went to different cities for college and I was surprised to find out that after two years in college, she was married and she has come back to our hometown to raise her kid. Her husband, someone she met in college, was back in Cebu to become a doctor, while Amy is left to take care of her kid.

I had come home then to mourn the end of my first serious relationship and hanging out with her helped me get over it but not without resurrecting the feeling I had for her.  Scared to lose her friendship, I vowed to never let her know. She guessed that I was heartbroken, but she assumed that it was over some guy back in Manila and she even considered mye lucky for not ending up like her.  We spent the whole summer together, and when it was time for me to go back out in the world, I left and never looked back.

It’s been more than fifteen years since that summer and I have had several relationships since.  Just like in school, different interests caused us to again drift apart – she was busy building a family with her now-doctor husband, while I was busy etching out a career in the BPO industry.

Seeing her again that fateful April morning brought back feelings I thought were gone forever.  She still looked the same, albeit the minute signs of aging in her once smooth face.  She was still fragile and delicate but with the air of a woman who has found her place in the world.

I wanted to talk to her but seeing her face light up when she saw her husband made me realize that I was right in not telling her. I have known then, as I know now that we were different. We could never be together, not now, not before, not ever. She had her world and I have mine.

She suddenly stops, turns, and sees me looking at her. She smiles tentatively, the smile that she used to give me in the hallway in school. I smile back and watch her walk away.

“OK lang ako,  at kahit di na tayo nag-uusap, sana, OK ka lang din.”

 


Photo: Airport Traveller”  by Nick Harris1 c/o Flickr. Some Rights Reserved.

quit

5 sintomas na naghuhudyat na dapat nang lisanin ang pinapasukang trabaho

Wednesday, 15 April 2015 | Written by
quit

quit

Iba-iba ang dahilan kung bakit umaalis ang isang empleyado sa kanyang pinapasukang trabaho subalit may ilang bagay ang madalas na nakikita sa mga nasabing kadahilanan. Hindi madali a
ng umalis sa trabaho lalo pa kung wala ka namang iba pang pupuntahan. Ibig sabihin, kaya nananatili ang isang tao sa kanyang pinagtratrabahuhan ay dahil wala naman itong iba pang pwedeng puntahan. Malinaw na kung meron ay mabilis pa sa alas-kwatrong lilisanin ang lugar na nagbibigay ng kalungkutan at hindi kakuntentuhan.

Mahalagang alam natin ang mga sintomas na maaaring hudyat upang pag-isipan nang malalim ang pag-alis sa pinagtratrabahuhan bago pa lumala ang sitwasyon o hindi na makaalpas sa hindi magandang pakiramdam na dulot ng kapaligiran. Minsan ang kailangan lang natin ay tanggapin na naroon tayo sa estadong iyon at nararapat lamang na umakto ayon sa nararapat maging magbunga man ito ng ilang buwang pagsusumikap na makahanap ng malilipatan.

Ang mga sumusunod ay ilan lang sa dapat nating isaalang-alang:

  1. Hindi na masaya sa pinapasukan. Natural na sinusuka na ng katawan ang pagpasok o paggising sa umaga para pumasok. Nakararamdam na ng pagkahapo kahit umaga pa lang o ang ideya na papasok na naman ito. Nawala na ang dating gana sa pagpasok at kahit ano pa ang gawin ay hindi kayang pagsinungalingan ang sarili kung kaya’t madalas ang pagkakasakit bilang manipestasyon ng panloob na kawalan (emptiness). May pagkakataon na kayang maalpasan ito tulad ng kaakit-akit na sweldo na siyang dahilan sa pananatili o kaya naman ay masayang mga kasama sa trabaho subalit kung hindi mo na nakikita ang kabuluhan ng ginagawa dagdag pa ng mga kasamang hindi kaaya-aya, panahon na para umalis sa trabaho.
  2. Mga kasamang hindi marunong makipagkapwa. Madalas hindi lang naman pera ang dahilan kung bakit tayo nananatili sa trabaho. May mga mga pagkakataon na maliit ang sweldo natin subalit dahil masaya tayo sa ating mga kasama sa trabaho at nakalikha na ng inaasahang pamilya sa pinagtratrabahuhan, madaling naalpasan ang isyu ng sweldo at iba pa. Tunay na mahalaga ang pakikipagkapwa. Isa itong batayang kondisyon upang malinang ang kakayahan ng isang tao. Nagiging hadlang sa paglinang ng galing at talento kapag ang mga kasamahan ay trabaho ay mapanira o kaya naman ay hindi totoo sa iyo. Halimbawa, pinag-uusapan ka kapag wala ka o kaya naman ay iba ang sinasabi kapag tumalikod ka na. Hindi malusog ang ganitong relasyon lalo pa kung direkta kang may relasyon sa mga nasabing tao. Hindi kailangang magtiis sa mga ganitong kasamahan sapagkat nakahahawa ang ganitong pag-uugali.
  3. May kinikilingan o hindi pantay na pagturing sa mga empleyado. Karaniwan ito sa mga boss na walang konsepto ng katarungan at hustisya. Para sa mga ganitong uri ng boss, ang tingin nila sa kanilang sarili ay diyos na may sariling batas sa bawat tauhan niya. Bunga ng ganitong hindi pantay na pagtrato, nawawalan ng ganang kumilos ayon sa tama ang mga nakakaranas nito lalo pa kung nakikita nilang walang halaga ang magpakita ng extra effort upang pagbutihin ang sarili. Syempre llamado kung ikaw ang paborito at nagagawa mo ang kung ano ang gusto mo na parang walang batas na nalalabag at dehado naman ang palagiang puntirya ng boss na may pag-uuri sa kanyang mga nasasakupang tao. Malinaw na hindi kaaya-aya ang ganitong sitwasyon at dead end ang anumang gawing effort. Kapag nasa ganitong sitwasyon at malabo nang magbago ang boss, panahon na para lisanin ang pinagtratrabahuhan.
  4. Mukhang walang nabago o nababago sa buhay, bagkus tumungo pa sa kasamaan. Ang ebalwasyon sa sariling pag-unlad ay isa sa mga pamantayan upang makita ang kabuuang epekto ng isang bagay sa atin. Halimbawa, nung nag-aaral pa tayo, sinasabi natin na masaya tayo sa nakalipas na taon kasi marami tayong natutunan na siya naman nating baon sa susunod na antas ng pag-aaral. Kahalintulad sa pagtratrabaho, marapat lamang na makita natin kung may nagbago ba sa ating buhay. Kung mayroon man, dapat nating alamin kung ito ba ay para sa ating ikabubuti at ayon sa inaasahan. Kung ang pagbabago ay ikinasama natin, malinaw na dapat na tayong umalis at kung kulang naman sa ating inaasahan, hindi rin tayo dapat maging kampante lalo pa’t alam nating tumatakbo ang buhay at hindi natin mababalikan ito kapag kulang at negatibo ang ating mga naging karanasan.
  5. Panghuli, ay kawalan ng motibasyon na dulot ng isa sa apat o kombinasyon ng ilan sa 1-4.Simple ang ating panukat sa trabaho. Hindi pera, kung hindi ang kasiyahang umaapaw sa kalooban. Hindi ito kayang bilhin ng pera o ng sweldo gaano man kalaki o kaliit ito. Ang motibasyon ay nanggagaling sa kabuluhan ng trabahong ginagawa at epekto nito sa nakararami. Ang saysay ay nakadaragdag ng motibasyon gaya ng mga kasamahang pamilya ang turingan sa bawat isa, pantay na pagtrato sa bawat empleyado at higit sa lahat ay ang pagturing na tao sa mga tao. Kapag isa sa mga nasabi ay kulang o nawawala, naapektuhan ang motibasyon na siyang dahilan ng ating pananatili sa isang lugar o trabaho.

Kabuhayan ng malaking porsyento ng populasyon ang pagiging empleyado. Hindi madali ang maging empleyado gayundin naman ang pagiging boss o ang pagmamay-ari ng isang kumpanya. Bahagi ng pag-unlad ng bawat isa ang pagbuo ng kapaligirang angkop sa nagtratrabaho at pinagtratrabahuhan. At isa sa mga susi ng pananatili ng mga empleyado ay ang kapaligirang kaaya-aya na patuloy na binubuo tulad ng isang tunay na pamilya.

_________________________

Photo c/o Pixabay. Public domain.
back to school

Back to School Business Ideas

Monday, 23 June 2014 | Written by
back to school

By: SERDEF MEDIA BUREAU

back to schoolWith summer over and done, students are now back in school. With the end of the “Halo-halo  and Palamig season, here are some back to school business ideas that entrepreneurs can adopt to augment their income:

School Supplies Buy and Sell

It may be a bit too late to start this now but this kind of business is lucrative this time of the year. This type of business does not require you to rent a place or a stall, you can do this from your house or you can do it through order-basis in the office.

Pros

This kind of business is ideal for those office-bound entrepreneurs who are keen on having an additional source of income that will not jeopardize their day job since this business can be done during lunch breaks and after office hours. Most of all, your kids’ stuff would be cheaper since you will be able to buy it at wholesale price.

Cons

This business is seasonal and will only be lucrative during the start of the school year. The merchandise is bulky so you will need a mode of transportation and with the prevalence of Made in China products, profit margins will not be as high as you’d want. The only way to earn more with a low profit margin would be to sell more products.

Made to Order and Uniform Repair Business

This business is ideal for those who are into sewing but do not want to get into the business full time. This type of business is brisk during this time of the year since the demand for uniforms are high. One only needs to have a handful of satisfied customers for the business to be advertised through word of mouth. Just like the previous business idea, this can be done at home so there is likewise no need to rent a space or a stall.

Pros

With the way prices have been increasing these past few years, more and more families are using hand-me-down clothes instead of buying new ones for their younger kids Getting these hand-me-downs ready would mean minor repairs and that’s where you come in. Every community has their friendly neighborhood modista and you can be that in your village. Also, this business can be done during weekends and after office so it  will not affect your day job.

Cons

Although lucrative, this type of business is a bit time-consuming and will definitely not be as lucrative compared to other businesses. Another disadvantage of this kind of business is the need for a sewing machine, something that not everyone has.

Pre-packed Baon Business

Making your kid’s baon in the morning is not only time-consuming but is also a test in creativity since you have to make sure that the baon that you are preparing is not boring and bland. If you have to make for one, why not make for twenty kids? Sure, you will have to wake up a little bit earlier but wouldn’t it be satisfying to see more kids’ faces light up whenever they get their baon?

Pros

You can include your kid’s baon in your calculations so you will not only earn money from the baon of others kids but your kid’s baon will be free as well. This idea will allow you to make money while giving your kid the best baon you can provide. With this type of business, no space will be needed since you can sell the pre-packed baon to your kid’s school bus mates or classmates.

Cons

Canteen owners in schools might not like you very much. Without needing to pay rent, your merchandise will most likely be cheaper than those sold in the canteen so don’t expect to be popular and well-loved when you come visit the canteen. Also, this business will require you to wake up earlier than usual but unlike the other businesses mentioned earlier, this can be lucrative not just during the start of the school year but rest of the year as well.

Whatever business you decide to enter during this back to school season, always remember that business need not be a full time and those who work full-time need not quit their job to start a business, with a little research and ingenuity, we can put up our own business. We need only to find our niche and work hard.

————————————-

Photo: “Rentrée / Back to school” by Olibac, c/o Flickr. Some Rights Reserved.
Time

What is Time?

Saturday, 31 May 2014 | Written by
Time

By: Edmund Lao

TimeThe greatest gift you can give to someone is your time, because when you give your time, you are giving a portion of your life that you will never get back. — Anonymous

Time is a commodity that is often taken for granted specially by Filipinos. A proof of this is coming late for appointments. The usual reason is the traffic jam, which has already been part of our lives. That is also the reason we have the term Filipino time. By coming late for an appointment, we are in effect robbing the other person of his precious time which he can use productively.

In the world of financial planning, what really is the meaning of time? We always hear financial institutions say that in building wealth, time is of the essence. From a desk calendar by First Metro Asset Management Inc. I saw in 2012, the number one tip was :

Start Early: The only way you can make the most out of the limited time you have is to start early. The sooner you invest, the more time your money will ha e for growth. If you delay, you will almost certainly have to invest much more to achieve a similar result. Let the POWER OF COMPOUNDING WORK FOR YOU.

Many people erroneously think that in wealth building, time is not important. When young , you will often hear the reply “I am still young. Retirement is still far away”. They do not realize that when they delay, they are in effect robbing themselves and their future generation of a bright future ahead. Each year of delay in their investing decision translates to millions of pesos of loss in the future.

Time waits for no one, once gone; you can only look back but can never get it back again.

Let us look into a short story below which I received several years ago:

TWENTIES: I CAN’T SAVE NOW.  I’m just getting established. I have credit card due to pay and there’s a loan of the car too.  I’m not ready to make commitments yet and I want to have fun while I can.  There will be time to think about saving later on, then I’ll save.

THIRTIES: I CAN’T SAVE NOW.  I’ve got a family and responsibilities. It costs a lot to raise and there’s mortgage on the house too. It takes all I have to make ends meet, when I am making more and the kids are older then I’ll save.

FORTIES: I CAN’T SAVE NOW.  I’ve got kids in college and costs are out of sight.  Then there are weddings. I want to help the kids get started.  Expenses are their highest and it’s the hardest time to save, but things will ease off soon. Then I’ll save.

FIFTIES: I CAN’T SAVE NOW.  Things haven’t worked out like I thought they would. It’s not easy when you are locked in and there’s an opportunity to move up the ladder. I can’t just make a break and start a new career. I’m helping the folks too, now that they need my assistance. I’m just barely making ends meet. Something will open up, and then I’ll save.

SIXTIES:  I CAN’T SAVE NOW.  I thought things would be better.  I wanted to retire earlier but I just can’t do it. I’m trying to pay off the last of the mortgage and get other bills take care of, but things mount up. Remembering the grand children and other things take all I have. I guess that’s the way it is. I wish I could save.

SEVENTIES: I CAN’T SAVE NOW.  I’m too old to save. My retirement benefit from the SSS and from my company just can’t go far enough. Medical bills and long term care expenses really worry me. I’m such a burden on my kids. I wish I had saved when I should have. Now it’s too late… I REALLY CAN’T SAVE NOW.

The above story just showed one thing. Procrastination is a thief of time. Now that his 40 years of productivity was stolen from him, automatically, his future wealth also vanished into thin air with the passage of time.

Almost 10 years ago, I was thrust into the wonderful world of investment. Ever since joining a seminar that changed my mind-set, I hungered for more knowledge. For me, knowledge is nothing unless it is applied. Having knowledge made investing for me a lot less risk. I started investing in different kinds of instruments ranging from low to high risk. I realized that even high risk investment is not that all risky for as long as there is a goal and time attached to it. When I invested my money, I pretended that it was spent already. It was really spent not on consumption but on buying my future which is certain to come. It is a fact that we cannot prevent old age and getting sick but we can do something to provide for that certainty. True enough, after years of having invested, the returns are far beyond my expectation. I earned more without exerting a single effort. It was time that allowed my money to grow. Conclusively, time is the real money.

Now that we know Time is money, would you still waste it?  START early and make it your friend.

————————-

Photo: “TIME” by Fabíola Medeiros, c/o Flickr. Some Rights Reserved.

————————-

For more money tips, you may reach me at edmund.lao@gmail.com and https://www.facebook.com/moneylaa

 

 

 

 

 

first date

First date

Saturday, 31 May 2014 | Written by
first date

By Miel Feria

first dateIt was a sunny Saturday morning, fresh from a shower and dressed to the nines, I was on my way to Starbucks to meet up with my online girlfriend for the first time. We have been together for a couple of months but we have yet to meet. We met online and up until recently, we have both been contented with our relationship – special, intimate, passionate, sans the physical contact and such.

Even from the get-go, our relationship was of a different kind. Up until I met her, I never believed in love in the internet but with my fear of being found out, I had no choice but to look for someone on line – away from the prying eyes and gossip mongers. I have spent the better part of my adult life, questioning my sexuality and the rest, furiously denying what I knew all along. Acting on the feelings I have had since I was younger was something I was not eager to do but I knew I had to.

So I took to the internet, carefully laying the foundation of a double life on line. For me to ensure my anonymity, none of my current email addresses had to be used. New emails and new accounts in the different social networks must be setup. It was fun at the start, I felt like a secret agent creating my own identity. With my internet creds ready, I entered the different chat rooms and blog sites that I have found.

It took me a while to find her. At first I was hesitant to tell her things about me but soon I found myself pouring my heart to her. Four more months of chatting ensued before I gathered enough courage to tell her how I felt. I thought it would end there but I was surprised to find out she had feelings for me too.

That was a couple of months ago. At first we were content with just the internet and our phones as our means of communication but now that we were approaching our second monthsary, she said it was high time we met in person.

I was scared, she was excited. I was beside myself.

So there I was finally, sitting on a Starbucks couch, nervously drinking my decaf coffee latte (I may have been a nervous wreck but I had the presence of mind to know that caffeine would not help one bit), when she entered the coffee shop and blew my mind away. She was like an angel. I could not take my eyes off her. Suddenly self-conscious, I wanted to leave but she saw me staring at her and she gave me a smile that melted my heart.

She came to my table and gave me a peck on the cheek, not a trace of awkwardness in her, it was as if she has done this countless times. Still star-struck, all I was able to manage was a small smile and a squeak that sounded like hello. For a full minute I just sat there, staring at her while she told me how she ran to make it to our meeting place on time. She didn’t want to be late, she said.

Huuy! Magsalita ka naman!, she suddenly exclaimed. I smiled. I looked into her eyes and the rest of the world disappeared. I was no longer self-conscious. There was no one else there, just her and me.

We left the coffee shop to play pool, an interest we have talked about a great deal. Pool and alcohol, that would surely make me more relaxed. We played for more than 3 hours and finally tired, we sat to finish our beer. I was feeling a little buzzed by then but still I was so afraid that I would be forward that I still maintained my distance.

I wanted so much to kiss her but I didn’t want her to think I was taking advantage of her. So we sat and chatted for a couple more hours. I was stalling, that’s for sure. Ending the date would mean me giving her a good night kiss. I have never kissed anyone before. What if she doesn’t like the way I kiss? So I stalled and stalled until I could not stall any longer.

So we walked to my car, not really in a hurry to end the night. It was an interesting experience. It was when we were walking towards my car that I realized I no longer felt self-conscious whenever I was with her. I no longer cared about what others said about me. All that mattered was the angel by my side.

We drove in silence, both of us suddenly aware of the tension building inside me. She tried to appear nonchalant but I knew she was tense as well. We have talked about it earlier. My bravado fueled by beer, I had asked her if she wanted to kiss me and she smiled and told me maybe later. That moment has arrived.

As we approached their front door, she suddenly said, “so are you gonna kiss me or what?” She said it with a smile that melted me and at the same time gave me the courage to pull her close and kiss her.

And kissed her I did.

It was the best feeling I have ever felt. I don’t know how long we kissed but when we finally let go, I was so out of breath that I could not even mumble a shy good bye. I just stood there smiling, as always. She smiled back, gave a last peck on the cheek and closed the door.

I slowly walked towards my car, my mind replaying the sensation of having her soft lips on mine. We drank almost a bucket of beer each and yet it was not until I kissed her that I got dizzy. I had to smile, she was more intoxicating than beer!

I pulled out my phone and called her. I could not believe it but I already missed her. She answered after the first ring and told me she was already missing me as well. I wanted to come back but I didn’t want to ruin a really nice evening so I asked to see her the next day and she promptly said yes. With nothing else to say, I ended the call with a promise to call her when I get home.

The first date is in the books, I have a feeling we will have more of those and it was fine with me. For once I have not thought of what other people would say about me. For once I was happy. I was finally out of the closet and there’s no going back now…

…and even if there was, I don’t think I would.

Photo: “Perfect Date“ by Enrique Ramos, c/o Flickr. Some Rights Reserved.

Plugin by Social Author Bio