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SavingsPinay February Quick Recap

Monday, February 29, 2016

February has been the worst month for SavingsPinay because I failed to blog everyday and I feel so guilty that I didn't publish that much content. Anyhow we still have some highlights of the month so let me share to you a quick recap of how February went.


  1. We reached 109,000++ Pageviews. Whoo... last month we just reached 100k pageviews and now we are so near to 110,000!!! My goal for March is to reach 115,000 so hopefully it would happen. Pageviews are important for me because it means the blog is getting noticed and being seen by people.
  1. Mt. Manabu Hike. I still can't believe that this happened. I hiked for the first time!!! And I shared my experience in my personal blog IzzaGlino. Here in SavingsPinay I created an Expenses and Itinerary post so if you want to read that one please go over my archive.
  1. First Out of Town Trip. I went to Pampanga last last week and it was a blast. I set a budget for the trip and it's my very first time to go out of town. It's a nice experience and I will be doing an expenses and itinerary post.
  1. First Event Host of the Year. Just like what I mentioned in my SavingsPinay January Quick Recap I wanted to go back event hosting. Last February 20 I did my first ever event of the year and it was a wedding at Island Cove Cavite. I felt so much accomplished and can't believe how much I miss hosting. 
POSTS PUBLISHED THIS MONTH


I hope you liked this post. Don't forget to do any of the following:

My 2nd Year Anniversary Working in Makati

Friday, February 26, 2016

February 26 marks my 2nd year anniversary working in Makati. I can't believe I will last this long in my current company considering how I easily used  to things. I lasted only 1-3 months in my firs two jobs before I finally settled in my current work. READ: My Life, My Job, My Career and 6 Things that Helped Me Succeed.

Today I will try to celebrate my second year by providing the lessons I learned, the highlights of my career and probably future plans. I hope with this post you'll learn something. 


Lessons and Pieces of Advice
  • Respect/Authority is something you earn through time. 
Currently I am part of the Management Committee at work. I am happy to gained such respect and authority over time. Though we are of the same age bracket, kitang-kita how people sees you as superior to them in terms of experience at work and expertise in what you do. Respect and Authority at the workplace are important factors especially when you have already stayed for a couple of years. 

  • Time Management is the only key
Over the last six months of 2015 I was going to work super late. I always blame the traffic or it's just that I have bad luck commuting. Then 2016 came and one goal I made is to finally go to work on time ( I do this "No Late January, No Late February etc. tracker on My Bullet Journal). I realized that all it takes is discipline in how you use you time to be early at work. I didn't have to do any magic. At the moment I seldom go to work late and if I do it will always fall in the grace period. My trick? I set an alarm in what time I have to go out of the house. 

My Roll Out Family
  • Don't be hard on yourself
I have the tendency outdo myself. I feel like I needed to do things on my own and have a hard time letting others know that I need help. Then realized that I have to stop being hard on myself. It is okay to let others know that I can't do it. Hindi naman ako si Wonder Woman. I can't be a martyr all the time. 
  • It's okay to commit mistakes
I can be a bit of a perfectionist sometimes with my kind of work. I don't tolerate mistakes. I put a lot of pressure on myself to do my work right all the time. But then I realized that it's okay to commit mistakes. There's a lot of things that I have to improve in terms of what I do and I have to be an open cup...always ready to take knowledge from people around me.
  • Be Prepared for Sudden Changes at Work
My second year at work is a bit of chaos to be honest. We had a sudden change with the management. I mentioned our former President, Sir Joel had to leave his post since the ownership is now 100% sealed and signed. 

Currently we are in complete hiatus at work. There's no concrete plan or even organization chart being released. Though I am still compensated well still it's hard knowing how blurry the path ahead is. We have no idea what will happen to the company in 6-12 months. 

That's why its important that you prepare yourself mentally, financially and emotionally. Whatever happens you need to be smart with your career decisions. Have enough savings ready and make sure that your emotions won't affect your job at all times.

Highlights of My Career so far


1. Transferred to sister company

On my first year of work I was rendering my service with SysNet as technical writer then I got transferred to WiFun as Technical Documentation Specialist. Though both companies were sisters and highly connected with each other it is still a new working environment, with new workmates and new job description. It started a little tough but now after five months I am getting used to the transfer that happened. 

2. The WiFun Family x Christmas Party x Holloween Party


Last December we celebrated WiFun Christmas Party with a Tropical Party. I hosted the event and prepared the program. It was so much fun and I believe I have blogged about it in Goodbye December, Hello January 2016 post. 


We also celebrated a Halloween Party!!! We decorated the office and brought the kids of our employees for some games. It was super fun event too. 
I love my WiFun Family so much and I feel blessed to be surrounded by amazing individuals who always make me feel loved and wanted. 

3. Meeting Nica and the Coffee Monday


I found the best people in the company that made such an impact in my life. Nica, our HR/Admin Representative whom I treasure the most as my bestfriend. Meeting Nica has been one of the best thing happened on my second year at work. We've been through a lot and I am excited on what else will happen. 




Coffee Monday on the other had are my barkadas at work. They were the very men whom I shared a lot of laughter and stories with. I still remember our Star City Adventure as well as our coffee Monday sessions. They even gave me a cake on my birthday.



So What's Next, Izza?

I want to be honest with you as my readers and I do feel a bit "50:50" whether I will be staying in my current work or not. I finally reached a point when I am not satisfied anymore on how things are going on in terms of the management. I feel like there's no opportunity for growth anymore and I owe it to myself, my family and my future family to establish a better and surer career path. 

But I do love my WiFun Family and I have established memories and friends there so it's really a tough decision on my part.

Soon if I have made a decision I will surely blog about it and inform you. 

Thank you for reading this post.

Next on SavingsPinay:

Easy and Cheap Day Hike for Beginners at Mt. Manabu

Friday, February 19, 2016
If you go over my personal blog IzzaGlino you know that I had my first ever hiking experience last last week. It was one proudest moment of my life. I reached the summit together with my hiking group that includes my high school classmate Jevy and her other mountaineer friends. My Mt. Manabu Day Hike Experience is memorable for me and today I want to give you a detailed guide on an easy and cheap day hike for beginners at Mt. Manabu. If you are looking for a budget-friendly adventure then this could be for you. 


Below is the breakdown of our Itinerary + Expenses

6:00 am. This is our call time at Mcdo Buendia. I also had my breakfast here which is my favorite Sausage McMuffin

Mcdo Bill: 89pesos

7:00 am. We depart Buendia through DLTB bus going to Batangas. Our drop-off point is Brgy. Sta. Cruz

Bus Fare: 99pesos


8:30 am. We drop off at Brgy. Sta. Cruz and rode a jeepney (same side where our bus dropped us). Our next destination is Fiesta World Mall Lipa.

Jeepney Fare: 8pesos

8:45am: Arrival at Fiesta World Mall Lipa. We walked a little to the tricycle terminal that goes to "Sulok"

Tricycle Fare: 40pesos each


9:00am: The tricycle stopped for awhile at the Brgy. Hall. We paid for registration fee and payment for the plants that we were obliged to plant on the mountain to give back to Mother Nature

Registration Fee: 20pesos
Plant: 25pesos

9:30am: Arrival at Sulok Base Camp. Bought bottled water to rehydrate. 

Bottled Water: 20pesos

9:45am: Start Trek



If you want to read the stories of how our trail in Mt. Manabu went click HERE. I shared my experience as well as the lessons I learned in my very first hike.

2:30pm: Back at Base Camp. The base camp is actually a house turned bathroom and pahingahan. 

Ligo: 15pesos
Hugas Sapatos: 20pesos
Tsinelas (since I need to change my dirty rubber shoes): 70pesos


3:00pm: Lunch at SM Lipa 

Bill: 139pesos

4:00pm: Bus to Alabang

Bill: 90pesos

Mt. Manabu : An Easy and Cheap Day Hike for Beginners

Mt. Manabu has the difficulty of 2/9 perfect for those who are beginners. I am beginner myself and if not for the rain that made the trail muddy and slimy I believe it would be easy an yet enjoyable adventure. The registration fee is just 20pesos and you can also bring your own food and water to lessen the amount you'll pay. 

There are 8 Stations across Mt. Manabu. Stations 1-3 are the easiest of the trail. At Station 6 you'll find Tatay Tino's Kapehan, it's the are where hikers relax for awhile with free Civet coffee. It's a famous site in Mt. Manabu. The most difficult part of our hike was the descent. The trail is steep plus the area became muddy due to rain. 


You can extend your adventure with a swimming since there are a lot of public and private pools available in Batangas. Commute is also easy because there are jeepneys and buses always available. 

Click My Mt. Manabu Day Hike Experience to view more pictures and read complete story on my first hiking experience. 

My GetGo Lifestyle Rewards Card by Cebu Pacific

Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Remember my iBlog 11 experience? I went to this amazing blogging conference last Decemer that I will never forget. It was a 2-day event filled with lessons about blogging and social media. 

One of the sponsors during the event was GetGo Lifestyle by Cebu Pacific and they willingly gave away free rewards card membership to the attendees. I haven't used the card yet but as a rewards-obsessed person that I am, I thought it would be nice to give you a detailed introduction an information about the GetGo Lifestyle Rewards Card by Cebu Pacific.


Information

The GetGo Lifestyle Rewards Card is a product of Cebu Pacific. It is a lifestyle rewards program that gives you free flights by flying with Cebu Pacific. The program is open for all loyal members and is a point system where in each flight you avail generates a point and is then convertible to buy free flights and add-ons in Cebu Pacific. 



How it Works

With GetGo Lifestyle Rewards Card you will earn 1 GetGo points for every 5pesos you spent with Cebu Pacific and Cebgo. 

Aside from flights you spent you also earn points for add-on products like prepaid baggage, seat selector, pre-ordered meal and sports equipment. 

GetGo Lifestyle Rewards Card also has list of partners where you can earn points for every transaction. 

Redeeming Your Points

If you book a flight for 5,000pesos fare then you'll get 1,000 points. According to a blogger that had already tried redeeming his points LINK the conversion per points is only around 30 cents. So your 1,000 points  could be more or less 300pesos only.

The conversion of points also depends on how popular the flight is. If its a popular flight then the conversion per points will be much lesser. 

You can redeem your points for any Cebu Pacific Air or Cebgo flight (including add-ons). Cebu Pacific didn't publish any conversion table for the public to see. You have to check it yourself as you login on your personal account at the www.GetGo.com.ph website and then redeem. 

You can use your collected points as follows:
  1. As payment for a flight
  2. As payment for taxes and fees associated with your flight booking
  3. As payment for add-ons like prepaid baggage allowance etc. on your flight booking
  4. As payment for someone's flight as long as you add them on your Sharing Circle.
Redemption is not yet available to partner outlets but updates regarding this will be posted on the GetGo website for sure. You can only redeem your points.

Check THIS LINK to know about the partner outlets/services of GetGo Lifestyle Rewards Card. Among on the list are BDO, BPI, Petron, GoHotels.ph and Summit Hotels and Resort. 

How to Apply for a GetGo Lifestyle Rewards Card
  • Membership to GetGo Lifestyle Rewards Card is open to anyone regardless of nationality or residency.
  • Minors under the age of 18 are required to provide membership number of their parent or legal guardian during enrollment. 
  • Enroll via website. Just visit 
  • You can also enroll via email. Just email GetGo Team at   
  • You can also enroll via Phone by numbers 714-3846 (71GetGo)
  • You can also enroll via SMS. SMS to 0922-114-3846 (092211GetGo) in this format:
    • getgo,reg,first name,last name,dob(mmddyyyy),email Example: getgo,reg,david,cruz,01011970,d.cruz@gmail.com
  • Pay a membership fee of 150pesos. Details on where and how to pay the membership fee will show after logging in to the GetGo website or depending on the method of enrollment you chose.


About the GetGo Lifestyle Rewards Card

The GetGo Lifestyle Rewards Card is a physical identifier that you are a member of GetGo. The card will be included upon your enrollment. You can choose to deliver it on your preferred address in the Philippines. 

The waiting time for the card to be delivered is within 20 business days. While waiting for your card to be delivered you can start earning points with the online partners.

For those outside of the overseas, you can choose to deliver the card to any Philippine address of someone you know. Click THIS LINK to know more about GetGo Membership Card.

About the GetGo Lifestyle Card Account

Once you become a member of the GetGo Lifestyle Rewards Card you will can now access your online account. This is where you can view the status of your membership from how many reward points you have to any other transaction you did with your GetGo Membership Card. 

You can access your account via logging in to the GetGo website with your email address and password. You can update your profile information, reset your password and other website account functionalities.

About the GetGo Earning Circle

GetGo has this Earning Circle which is a group feature that allows you to combine your GetGo points together with seven (7) other members of GetGo which makes earning of points easier and faster. 

  • One member of the Earning Circle shall be the Head and invite other members to participate in your Earning Circle
  • You can start an Earning Circle by yourself (hence becoming the Head) and invite other members to participate in your Earning Circle
  • Or by joining an existing Earning Circle by sending an online request to the Head of that Earning Circle

Click HERE for more information.

About the Sharing Circle

GetGo also has the Sharing Circle which is a group feature that allows you to redeem your GetGo points (from either your personal balance or Earning Circle balance) for a reward flight on behalf of the people you have nominated as member. 


Pros:
  1. Perfect and great privilege for travelers and Cebu Pacific patrons who want to maximize what they pay for their 
  2. No expiration date on points
  3. 5pesos = 1 point which is a big point
  4. Has a lot of offer! With the inclusion of partnered establishments you can earn points in less time. 
  5. There are a lot of ways to become a member
Cons:

  1. There's a membership fee of 150pesos
  2. May not be necessary if you are not a patron of Cebu Pacific

Overall

I am excited to use my GetGo Lifestyle Rewards Card especially this year that traveling is part of my priorities. I think its a great addition for my rewards card collection. I love that there's no expiration for the points to use. I also love how the GetGo website is filled with information. Almost everything is in the website. 

Comment below if you are using the GetGo Lifestyle Rewards Card. Share also your experience using the card.

BDO UITF First impression

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Today's post will be my very first first impression for 2016. I didn't expect that this kind of post will receive such a good response from all SavingsPinay Readers. My most viewed blog post of all time include reviews I created for particular investment vehicle like the BPI Savings/Protection Philam Life First Impression, PNB UITF First Impression and Security Bank UITF First Impression.

As always, investing your money is one way you are building a possible passive income. This will help you in the long run to not worry anymore on where to get money to maintain the lifestyle you live. You can sleep and the money will work for you. READ: How To Worry-Free Invest in the Philippines.


I have long wanted to create a blog post about BDO Unit Investment Trust Fund since this another bank that's common to Filipinos. I know a lot who started their savings account at Banco de Oro and until now enjoy the service that this established bank provides. Hope you will find this first impression of the BDO Unit Investment Trust Fund helpful.

Let's begin.


Quick Review

It's been months since I last published anything that concerns Unit Investment Trust so I know that it will be helpful to have a quick review for a second.

Unit Investment Trust Funds is another form of investment available in the Philippines where in your investments are handled with the bank.
Funds from various clients with similar investment objectives are pooled together into one fund, which the trustee invests in various types of securities with the aim of maximizing returns within reasonable risk levels.

It works the same way as a regular mutual fund only that it is managed by a bank instead. READ: UITF vs. Mutual Fund Investment (Beginner's Alert!)


How BDO Unit Investment Trust Fund works?

BDO Unit Investment Trust Fund is just any UITF accounts. Your money is pooled together with the other investors money and invested in a high-yielding assets that match the portfolio you've selected.

Their UITF products are divided in three main categories namely Peso Denominated UITFs and Dollar Denominated UITFs.

Below is the link to the Peso-Denominated UITFs from BDO:

Taken from BDO Website

Taken from BDO Website

Below is the link for the Dollar-Denominated UITFs from BDO:



Benefits of BDO UITF


Banco De Oro has a great track record when it comes to banking in the Philippines. It is among the top three banks today, tried and tested. Their BDO Unit Investment Trust Fund is one way they manage to give opportunities to common investor who are may be beginners or first timers to experience how investing works.

Below are the benefits of BDO UITF as seen on their website.

BDO UITFs allows you to choose a fund or a combination of funds that is/are well suited to your needs, financial requirements and life goals.  With the BDO UITFs, your common investing concerns are addressed.

Diversification
By investing in a UITFs, risks are spread out across the various investments held by the pooled trust fund.

Liquidity
While we generally recommend that you stick to your investment time horizon and  stay invested in the UITFs for a longer period of time, UITFs are designed to allow you to can redeem units of participation at any time.

Affordability
UITFs generally require a much lower minimum investment amount compared to other investment alternatives.

Better earnings potential
Greater earnings potential is achieved without having to invest large sums of money. There are opportunities for potentially higher returns due to possible marked-to-market gains on top of accrued income from investments. UITFs provide access to financial instruments not readily available to retail investors.

Exempt from reserve requirements
UITFs are not subject to reserve requirements imposed on bank deposits.  Thus, your funds earning potentials are maximized.

Professional fund management
Participating in the UITFs allows you to gain access to the expertise and services of seasoned fund managers who are able to actively monitor the markets for possible investment opportunities and managed the risks for you.

Transparency
Trust entities are required to publish the UITF price at least weekly, allowing investors to compare investment performance of various fund managers.

Regulated product
The management and administration of UITFs by Trust entities are governed by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).  Thus, aside from the yearly triple audit conducted to BDO Trust, each of its UITF is subject to a separate annual audit by an independent auditor that is acceptable to the BSP. The results of such audit may be made available upon your  request. In addition, each UITF is required to have a BSP accredited third party custodian, who is tasked with safekeeping the securities of the UITF and performing independent marking-to-market of such securities. All these safeguards redound to the protection of the UITF investors.

How to Open a  BDO UITF Account

Unlike PNB UITF thatt you can open completely online, BDO UITF requires your presence in their nearest branch. Make sure you have the following requirements when opening an account:

Basic Requirements
• One (1) set of Customer Account Record
• One (1) set of Signature Card
• Account Opening Kit:
1. Investor Profile Questionnaire (IPQ)
2. Client Investment Suitability (CIS)
3. Risk Disclosure Statement (RDS)
4. Declaration of Investor/s
5. Omnibus Participating Trust Agreement

Other standard bank requirements per type of account:

For Personal Accounts:
• Photocopy of two (2) valid IDs

For Sole/Single Proprietorship Accounts:
• Registration Certificate issued by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)
• Mayor’s Permit for the Current Year
• Application for Trade Name
• Valid Personal IDs of the proprietor/tress
• For the signatory/ies other than the proprietor/tress, a designation by the proprietor/tress through a Notarized Special Power of Attorney (SPA) showing the specimen signature of the officer/s or person/s authorized to operate the account and valid IDs of the designated signatory/ies

For Corporations:
• Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws
• Certificate of Incorporation (issued by SEC)
• Certificate of Filing of Officers or List of Elected Officers for the current year
• List of Directors
• List of Principal Stockholders owning at least 2% of the Capital Stock
• Notarized Board Resolution authorizing the opening of account and its authorized signatories
• Valid Personal IDs of the Signatories
• Verification of the authority and identification of the person purporting to act on behalf of the client
• Secondary license/s issued by the SEC, if any
My First Impression

BDO is a reliable bank, almost as always on the top choice for Filipinos. I believe it is BDO where I opened my first savings account. They have an online banking counterpart which is great for convenience of its customers. They have wide range of choices when it comes to UITF you can invest and people will surely find their perfect match. 

Other Pros:
  1. Online Banking is available
This is nice specially if you want to trace how your fund performs but have limited time. You can have your own portal to see the fund performance, your gains or your lose and more. 
  1. Good Track Record
BDO is known to many and has been serving for years already. They have branches inside malls which is pretty much convenient. I also think, based on my personal opinion, that they have the one of the most approachable tellers. Never have I visited a BDO branch where the teller has an attitude. 
  1. Another Possible Option for Investment
BDO's UITF products are great possible option if you are just starting to invest. You will be guided accordingly on how you want to make your money grow. Diversification is the key here and BDO offers that to its customers. 
  1. Competitive NAVPU
I was surprised to see that some of BDO's UITFs NAVPU are performing well in the market. There's a great chance for your money to grow even in short period of time. 

My top choice to invest will be the BDO Focused Equity Fund, BDO Peso Equity Fund and the Peso Sustainable Dividend Fund. 

The Con
  1. High Initial Investment
Unlike my FAMI Mutual Fund which is 5,000pesos only for the initial investment, BDO requires 10,000pesos. Let's face it saving 10,000pesos is not that easy. 

Overall

I hope that this BDO UITF First Impression post helped you decide as you make a big move in terms of your finances. Note that I am not affiliated with BDO and in any bank or financial product that I create a first impression with unless otherwise stated. 

The BDO UITF is a good option for beginners. Just make sure that you have already established a good savings for as well all know, investing is a risk.