Monday, October 30, 2006

Why All Saints Day Matter

All Saints day Celebration has developed a reputation on modern Catholics as stuffy, boring and repetitive. I can not anymore see a catholic community expressing solidly the importance and maintaining its identity. To me All Saints Day is something I must observe. I am in rage when GMA announced that only November 1 is a holiday. ( Anyway what can you expect to her. Flip flopping, wishy washy is her trademark)
Because to me All Saints Day is action, thought, prayer, sights, sounds, smells and emotions. It is relationships and connections to the living and the dead.It define what Catholic stands for and keep us spiritually fit.

To all of you, even it's a short celebration of faith, may you have a spirutally fullfilling All Saint's Day.


Thursday, October 19, 2006

Top 10 best jobs

"MONEY Magazine and researched hundreds of jobs, considering their growth, pay, stress-levels and other factors. These careers ranked highest.
1. Software Engineer
2. College professor
3. Financial adviser
4. Human Resources Manager
5. Physician assistant
6. Market research analyst
7. Computer IT analyst
8. Real Estate Appraiser
9. Pharmacist
10. Psychologist"

I am an Associate Professor right now and it's quite heartening that my current profession ranked no.2. It is not surpising though, the stress is minimal, the creativity and flexibility are day-to-day occurrence but to be tenured is difficult. Though tenure-track jobs will always be stiff, enrollment is rising in professional programs, state colleges and technical schools -- which means higher demand for faculty.

It's easier to break in at this level, and often many can teach with a master's and professional experience. Demand is especially strong in fields that compete with the private sector (health science and business, for example).

What's cool Professors have near-total flexibility in their schedules. Creative thinking is the coin of the realm. No dress code!

What's not: grading papers; salaries at the low end are indeed low.But knowing that you contribute in shaping the minds of the youth is a big boost to your points in heaven.

People will not remember how much is your earthly possessions but will surely remember your caring and your love. Teaching indeed has an advantage!.


Monday, October 16, 2006

Bad Boss, Good Boss

I am working for the past 17 years and I identified who are the bad boss and the good boss. Here are my list, after checking it twice:

Bad Boss

1. Tries too hard to be everyone's friend
2. Micromanages
3. Ignores conflict
4. Arrogant
5. Wishy-washy
6. Impulsive
7. Unable to delegate
8. Impatient
9. Stubborn
10. Unprofessional

Good boss

1. Trust in one's employees
2. Honesty/authenticity
3. Great team-building skills
4. Effective coaching skills
5. The ability to say "no"
6. A broader perspective
7. Patience
8. Decision-making skills

You can not change the bad boss but you can influence him. But beware that most employees leave a company not because of the company but because of bad bosses.

Finding a good boss is rare but when you met one, be loyal to him. Maybe the pay is less but you can learn more.

May all of us find a good one!


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Filipino Seamen, I Salute You!

" In the list of countries supplying seamen worldwide, the Philippines ranked first with 230,000 seamen. The POEA said that Filipino seamen are the most sought after in the maritime industry"
Salome Mendoza, POEA Planning, October ,10,2006

Do you know the pain they experienced as a seaman?. Here's what my nephew said:
1. Loneliness always haunts them especially when Filipino crews were mixed with different nationalities. Christmas is terribly lonely day for them.
2. Majority of them worked on "substandard" ships that barely meet the minimum international shipping norms.
3. They are sometimes exposed to dangerous chemicals especially if they are assigned at the bottom plate.
4. There are ships that lack hygienic toilets.
5. They are overworked and exposed to inefficient salvage services.
6. Many of them do not have a definite contract that guarantees job stability.

To all of our seamen who worked day and night to send their children to good school, put food in the table, build their dream house and uplift their family out of poverty, I salute you. Kayo ang tunay na hari ng pitong karagatan!.


Sunday, October 08, 2006

It's a Bull Run

"The country's gross international reserves hits a record high of $ 21.56 B due to string dollar inflows from OFW.
Total foreign direct investment reached $ 996 million and may reached $2B
Oil prices down to $61".
Des ferriols,Philippine Star page B-3,B-4, Oct.7,2006

How these will benefit us? Here are my thoughts:
1. There will be more money that will circulate resulting to high sales for those who got business.
2. Investment in equity mutual fund and stocks will give a positive yield. In short NAV for the mutual funds and stock prices will be higher resulting to higher earnings for shareholders.
3. High interest rate for your bank savings account and time deposit.
4. Inflation will be down to 6% or less hence more purchasing power for the peso.
It's definitely a bull run.
The question though is long?


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Ten Reasons Why Students Hate Math

Here are my thoughts:

1. They encounter during their elementary and high school math teachers who are semi-literate, or who teach their pupils the wrong things, or who are just one chapter ahead of their pupils in digesting the book they are in teaching.

2. Teachers traumatized students by giving them instant quiz or exam when some students misbehave, thereby giving a signal that Math equates punishment. This make the pupils or students hate Math and develop dyscalculia (fear in math).

3. They were given Math textbooks that are ineffectual which often pose problems. You can detect textbook that will make pupils hate the subjects when you find on that book movement from one skill or topic to another is too quick; there is no chapter outline, no exercises or if there are its limited in variety, no chapter examination and do not provide answers to that chapter examination.

4. Teachers did not correlate math to real-life situations. Instead of getting high grades, teacher’s should encourage independent thinking like: giving and receiving correct change, balancing a checkbook, using scales, estimating the amount of gas needed to travel a certain distance, and the like. Use of play money, toy clocks, blocks of different shapes should supplement the textbook.

5. Teachers assign the same work to everyone in the class. They should remember the principle of bell curve wherein 2/3 of the class may understand Math while the 1/3 are frustrated from trying to solve the impossible.

6. Pupils or Students felt that they are not love by their Math teachers. After years of handling students, I can conclude that students perform well mainly based on their perception of the teacher. If the pupils or students were treated as morons and slow learners which the teacher reinforced almost everyday expect them to think that way. Math teachers, love your students.

7. Pupils or students are not allowed to solve each problem in a different way. Let us accept the fact that in mathemetics, though an exact science, we encounter pupils or students who solve Math problems creatively. Cheer them!

8. Teachers teach math only by the book, problem by problem, page by page then we asked why they are bored. Be creative, like integrate math and music, sing while teaching addition!

9. Teachers make Math difficult when in fact it can be taught in a simplest way possible. Strengthen the basic, illustrate laws and principles and use everyday life situations.

10. Pupils or students can detect Math teachers who do not enjoy what they are doing. Since enjoyment is contagious, we can see students enjoying math if their teacher enjoys teaching it. If the students know that the teacher is fooling them, they will think that Math is a joke, a real big joke.


Mirant-Pagbilao Will Retrench Employees

“Mirant will make it’s separation of paying 2.5 months for every year of service a part of agreement on the sale of the company’s assets in the country. The affected employees in Pagbilao, Sual and Manila were informed already by the management.”
- Leviste, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Oct. 4, 2006

This is bad news to our kababayan working in Mirant, Pagbilao especially for those whose ages are 40 and above. They will find it difficult to look for another job. I pray that their separation pay be used properly and set up a business. For the young ones, they can find another job though maybe a little bit longer.
My prayers are with you!.


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Thoughts on Securing Your Retirement Future


 Arnel L. Cadeliña

Several colleagues call and e-mail me urging me to write more about my thoughts on retirement. Judging from their enthusiasm I am influencing them. This is rather a blessing for me that I am a blessing to others. Hoping to transform the Philippines in my own little way, here are my thoughts on retirement that you may share with other people. Only that I ask that you mention to them that I wrote this piece.

Everybody needs a plan (yeah, that includes you!). If you go to a strange place, you need a map or a guide to reach that place. It’s the same with retirement. Everybody whether you are self-employed or an employee you need to plan in 4 ways:

First is Mental Preparation.
You need to compute your life expectancy. That is, estimate when will you die. (sound scary?). You have to accept the fact that all of us will die. It is only the question of when. Here’s a clue, according to National geographic, the average life expectancy of male is 74 while female is 78. Since you will retire at age 60, you need money until you reach 74 or 78. Now ask the question if your SSS, pension plan, Pag-IBIG Fund, CEAP will suffice. Can your children help you?

Emotional Preparation
Now you are prepared mentally, make an updated will that you need to revise yearly.
Include your projection what you are doing at age 60, 65 and 70.

Financial Preparation
This is tricky but most important. You need your finances in order before its too late. Here’s the tip:
1. Buy stocks. You need to surf the internet, read investment books and ask people with background on stocks. In my experience buy stocks only when P/E drop. You have to check the company on their Cash flow (be sure it’s positive), sales forecast (be sure it’s growing) , operating margin forecast (be sure its positive), and investment spending of the company (be sure it’s not too risky). If you are ready, you may buy stocks on-line at CITI-SEC online.who charges only 0.25% gross trade amount and P20 per transaction. Hold your stocks for 10-15 years.
2. Buy mutual funds. . But stick only on equity fund. Practice peso cost averaging. Hold your mutual funds for 10-15 years.
3. Buy Index Funds. There’s only one in the Philippines called Philippine Index fund. You need P50,000 in order to invest.
4. Contribute to all available retirement income.. Explore endowment plan offered by life insurance companies.
5. Keep out of debt. As I said in my other blog (Retire with money not in poverty), throw away your credit cards. I mean now!.
6. Get a life insurance worth at least 3 times your annual salary.
7. Put away 15% of your income to retirement.
8. If you have the capital, own a business, buy real estate and get more whole life insurance.
9. This is the right mix in investment:
50% in stocks
35% in bonds
10% in cash
5% in mad money speculative investment

Physical Preparation

Take good care of your health: eat right, beging walking or join a gym, keep a balance in your life

Spiritual Preparation

Heal your spirit- mend fences, strengthen relations, ask forgiveness, forge better
or newer alliances.

Feed your soul – have more time for God. This time you don’t have an excuse.

These are my random thoughts on retirements. Product of several years of experience, provided for you in order for all of us to live our dreams, by planning today for a secure tomorrow.

Here’s a parting words :
Retirement without money is…….hell.


Quo Vadis, Philippines?

“The Economist” in their September 16th issue provided a 19 page special report on the world economy. I summarized some of their findings, though if scrutinized are not new, which have some effects on us and our country.

1. There is a risk that the American economy will face a sharp financial shock and a recession, or an extended period of sluggish growth. This will slow growth in the rest of the world economy.

2. Countries that try to protect jobs and wages through import barriers or restrictions on offshoring will only hasten their relative decline.

3. Rich economies can grow only by inventing new technology or management methods. Poor countries should find it easy to grow faster because they can boost their productivity by adopting innovations from richer ones.

4. Asia worked its “miracles” by creating the right conditions for high investment: a high saving rate, open markets and a good education system.

5. The best way to boost national economic prosperity is to make labor and product markets work more efficiently.
Speed up the shifts of jobs from the old industries to better paying new ones, and improve education and training to prepare workers for tomorrow’s jobs.

Let us analyze it one by one.

1. It is matter of time that the economy of USA will cause a meltdown. Their more than S100 billion dollars deficit, their low saving rate and high consumer debts will mean devaluation of the mighty dollars and a crisis in the bond market. THERE WILL BE RECESSION IN AMERICA SOONER OR LATER. You have to think twice migrating there since there will be scarcity of jobs and high basic commodity prices. There is a saying in the business world, that if USA sneezes, every country catches cold. Therefore recession will reach the Philippines. What you will do? Spend only on the necessity, pay in cash (since in recession, interest rate will be high) and hold on to your cash. In this situation CASH is KING.

2. Expect more foreign companies to established offshoring business in the Philippines. Call Centers and Medical Transcription will still head to the Philippines instead of India because the latter is now getting expensive. If you are new graduates, there is a high probability that only call centers will welcome you.

3. It is a reality that all modern inventions that are transforming our lives came from rich countries. Our role in the flat world economy is to use these modern inventions to MAKE US MORE PRODUCTIVE.

4. If you haven’t heard it yet, Vietnam is overtaking us in terms of high investment, high saving rate and huge investment in education. This is rather discomforting. What we need to do:
4.1. We have to elect local and national leaders that favors investment and provide perks for investors. If your local leaders know only jueteng or STL as the source of capital, dump him.
4.2. We need to save a lot in any financial instrument available in the market. This capital can be used by the banks and the government to lend to investors or entrepreneurs.
4.3. With the current GMA administration it is unlikely she will allocate huge investment in education. Judging from the DepEd and CHED budget, the allocation will be used largely to pay the salary of teachers and personnels. The military is eating a lot of the budget. Is it a survival factor or what?
The current GMA administration is always willing and allocating resources to pay the soldiers. It is not bad per se. How about the good teachers? Since we don’t carry a gun and can not mount a coup, we can only appeal to their sense of justice. A warning though, you can not count on the good teachers to help create workers that are prepare for tomorrow’s job if they are starving, I mean really starving.

Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!


Sunday, October 01, 2006

For Chariz Carlos


Thank you for the one year you spend with us. You are truly became part of our lives.
We offer you petionary prayers for you that will surely knock on heaven's door.
Your migration to New Zealand is a truly big decision but I am confident that your perseverance will be rewarded.
We believe that you can accomplish much, because you love much and because you have strong faith.

Our best wishes for your success.


( Chariz Carlos is a faculty member of Computer Science on SHC who is migrating to New Zealand with her family this October.