Friday, December 30, 2011

Thank You For The Blessings!

I am grateful to God for this year 2011. Looking back, I see many blessings that have come my way.  It is always good to count our blessings, list them and thank God for them.

I have learned that nothing is solved by thinking and focusing on my problems.  Focusing on the negative things that happened in my life, including thoughts on how to deal with DEBTS, make these problems bigger than what they really are. So, why waste time thinking about the negative things?

Today, I would like to thank and praise God for these blessings:

  1. My wife, Maritess, who has been very loving, understanding and supportive of me
  2. My 3 daughters, who have grown to love the Lord and are now professionals in their own right
  3. My son-in-law, Allan and our first grandson, Jesse Alexandre
  4. My Pastors and mentors: Colin Shaw and Ian Shelton
  5. My brothers, who are very caring, brotherly and fatherly to me: Larry, Ralph and Butch Plus their wives, Gina Mae, Del and Babylin respectively
  6. My dear close friends, many of them, imagine that? Wow. Ramon & Elvira, Andy & Cristy, Edna C., Gene & Zeny, Edna & Ador, Daisy, Bing & Virgie, Dennis & Divine,  Bong, Gwyn, Rose, hah-- too many to mention... thank God for each one of them
  7. My house of 14 years 
  8. My 17 years old Toyota Corolla, which is ably maintained by Chief Ruel Larrosa, owner of Exalta Auto Shop in Banawe, Quezon City. Thanks so much, Chief
  9. My dear sisters Jean and Julie
  10. My brothers, Jessie (my disciple)& his wife, Greta and Nonoy
  11. My good friends, Adel Lacson, German, Domeng Jose, Radley
  12. My new pairs of Hush puppies shoes
  13. The gifts I received this Christmas: A pair of Sanuk shoes, pink shirt, hankies, Samsonite laptop bag, too many to mention too
  14. Uno Overseas, for the job and opportunity to preach the Gospel to our Interns going to Japan
  15. For the health card provided by CRC and Uno, a big help for Maritess and I
  16. For the money we receive every payday
  17. For Jomar Hilario, my internet marketing mentor 
  18. For the almost weekly massage at Rilassante Spa located at Banawe infront of the Orthopedic Hospital
  19. For the discounted Dr. Pi Water from Tere and Mario Lontok, hehehe
  20. For the Scalar Pendant and Scalar Flask we bought from Adel. It really helps increase my energy level daily and in lowering my blood pressure. Try it
  21. For the Mercy, Grace and lovingkindness of the Lord Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior!
There are many more. I tell you, if you try writing them, you'll never run out of things to thank God for.  I have made it my New Year's resolution to count my blessings everyday in order to overshadow the seemingly negative things that try to disturb me every now and then. 

Give thanks to the Lord for He is good for His mercies endures forever!

May the coming year be a blessing to us all.

May the Lord Bless you and keep you. May His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. May His  countenance be upon you and give you peace!

May 2012 be the start of a debt-free life for all of us.

To your debt-free life,

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Power of Words

The last leg of our tour was Shenzhen, China. From Hong Kong, we took a train to Lu Wo, the last station at the border of shenzhen, where our tour guide was waiting.

I can still remember, the words our tour agent from Hong Kong told us on the bus going to the train station. After briefing us on how we will go to Shenzhen, he briefed us on what to expect in Shenzen.

The warning he gave us was this: In Shenzen, there are many pickpockets. So we need to carry our bags in front of us, always. Also, we must not place our wallets in our back pant pockets. The pickpockets can get it in less than 2 minutes. Scary.
Susan, our tour guide in Shenzhen
I was thinking, why do we still need to go to Shenzen? If all we do will be to watch for our belongings. There would be no more time to enjoy the city and shopping at ease.

When we arrived at the shopping center, our local tour agent, Susan, told us the same thing before alighting from the bus. Gosh.

As a result, my wife and I went to a well known department store, which we felt was a safer place to shop. We spent our time going around the store instead of shopping outside where pickpockets would go.

Finally, after spending some time, we ventured out and went to other well known, branded stores. But in the end, we told ourselves, why not just wait for the others at the McDonalds while drinking coffee.

So we went to McDonalds.  Guess what? Lo and behold, we saw most of our team there too. They were waiting for us and avoided shopping by consoling themselves that the items they saw can also be bought in the Philippines anyway. We were all scared and avoiding the pickpockets.

You will appreciate the power of words. Sometimes we don’t realize that the words we say are powerful. If  our tour guides were able to sow fear in our hearts, we can do the same on a positive note. Their words, which created fear in our hearts, caused us to avoid the crowded places where pickpockets abound. This, however saved us some money. A blessing in disguise?

Words are powerful. Whenever we speak positive words, we are blessed. The Bible declares “out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” The words we speak determines who we are.

So I say today, I am blessed to be a blessing. My best days are ahead of me. I am going to live a debt-free life! Fear has no place in my heart except the fear of God.

So be careful with what you say. What you declare will happen!

To your debt-free life,

Thursday, December 15, 2011

How I Saved On This Tour

Our office, Uno Overseas Placement, gave us an advance Christmas treat. We were given a tour of Hongkong, Macau and Shenzen, China.
My wife, Maritess and Del enjoying Hongkong's airport facilities
So off we went on this 3N/4D tour package.

Of course, since this was a pre-Christmas gift, we were also given extra money in advance.

The temptation for me, and am sure for everyone in the team, was the urge to buy gifts and items that are unique for each country we visited. The other side of the coin was the desire to preserve our hard earned money to last till Christmas.
The tour guide giving us instructions and tips
Let me share my two cents worth of idea how I saved during this tour.

1.     Determine and set the budget for the trip – This is the most important decision you need to make. Setting goals and limits causes you to be frugal and careful in spending your money well.

2.    Buy only what you need – There are many good things you will see and the urge to buy them is very high. Knowing what you need will help you know and eventually eliminate the wants. Otherwise, you will bloat your luggage with items you don’t really need and then you will have to deal with overweight baggage. So know what you need and to whom you will give gifts.

3.     Take care that you don’t succumb to any sales pitch by the tour agent– Tours are usually designed to let you enjoy the many amenities and sites of the city you’re in. However, if you’re on package tour, the tour agent usually brings you to places where they can earn commissions when you buy. In Hong Kong, we were brought to the Jackie Chan Jewelry shop. It was very tempting to buy an item for my wife. But because it wasn’t in our goal, I avoided the expense. After all, I still have some watches I have not been using, which are of the same quality they offer.

4. Enjoy your hard earned money, treat yourself well – I tried to go out of my way to treat my wife with new clothing. It was a major part of the plan. So we went to Cotton On in Mongkok to buy her clothes that were on sale but of good quality. Our friend, Bong Cuntapay, who now works there, was at hand to help us choose good designs for her.
So many things to buy in Macau
Overall, we enjoyed this trip. We went home satisfied and grateful to Uno Overseas, for giving us the chance to travel and relax.

I look forward to more tours.

To your debt-free life,

A Dream Come True

I would like to sincerely thank Manuel Viloria for featuring Debt Free Life Philippines in his very popular  Online Marketing Philippines

When I first joined Jomar Hilario's The Online Mentoring Club, Manny was one of those who made me feel welcome in the club and have encouraged me to blog.

When he made a challenge to feature my blog provided I write at least 5 (or more) original articles in my blog, I took it. I was excited because he is very popular in the blogging world. It pushed me to do something I couldn't do, to write articles.

I have not reached my goal yet, but with mentors like Manny Viloria and Jomar Hilario, I know I will achieve my goal of making money online and then helping others the way these guys are helping a lot of people now.

Again, thank you Manny for the very good review of  Debt Free Life Philippines.

Really, if you want to do something, it starts with a DECISION.

To our debt-free life,

Monday, December 05, 2011

Emotions: One Famous Budget Buster

We are now in the holiday season and of merry gift giving. It’s called Christmas. Here in the Philippines, we take this season seriously since we are a Christian nation, in fact the only Christian nation in the Far East.

So what has this season got to do with our money and with our budget? Everything. Let me explain.

As I write this article, we’re now about 20 days before Christmas. If you are observant, you’ll here Christmas carols being played on the radio, TV and especially in the Malls almost every hour if not minutes. Newspapers are full of ads about Christmas gifts and they proliferate in the all media too. I know that we need to celebrate the love of God. This love is expressed by sending His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to save mankind from sin. This is the essence of Christmas, Jesus being born as a man in a manger. But, we all know that this is also the season for merry making, thus we call it Merry Christmas.
For God so love the world that He gave His only begotten Son so that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16)
This is where emotions come in. Advertisers, manufacturers, store and mall owners know this well. They hype this to the max. Advertising appeals to our joy, expectations and even fears hoping to stir us emotionally so we buy their products or services being peddled. This is the power of emotions.
Homeworld's ad: very enticing!
My wife and went to the hospital this morning to see her doctor and for me to have my laboratory test. While waiting for our names to be called, I picked up the newspaper and happen to read Francis Kong’s column called Business Matters. In his article, entitled: What is a business plan, he said this: “Most people make emotional decisions and come up with the weirdest reasons to justify those. Take shopping for instance. Most equate shopping with an experience, which deals more with the emotional side of things rather than the rational. And watch how people mob stores just because they’re selling stuff at 70 percent off. And sometimes, even when you know your budget is limited, or that you don’t have the resources to make that expensive purchase, you go ahead and make it anyway. These instances have little, if any, to do with logic. But they have everything to do with emotions.” I like what he said. Emotions are very important, but I need to conquer and master it. I’ve learned my lesson last year.
Watch your emotions
This Christmas season, my wife and I have made a decision to control and master our emotions so that this will not affect our budget and end in debt. Yes, it is Christmas. We will buy gifts but not to the extent of going beyond our means. Be safe, be in control of your emotion and enter 2012 a debt-free person.

Merry Christmas!

To your debt-free life,

Photo credits: