Thursday, October 31, 2013

ASH International Language Tutorial Center

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What: ASH International Language Tutorial Center is offering high quality language courses in Chinese, English, French and Japanese for only PhP1,999. The duration of each language course is 40 hours. The regular price for this is PhP6,000.

Who are the teachers: At ASH, we boast of our language teachers who are native speakers of the languages that they teach. We can guarantee that you'll never complete a 40-hour language course without getting the maximum learning that you can get from a native language speaker who teaches the language that you want to learn.

Who are our students: Our students are mostly composed of students and young professionals who want to achieve mastery of the language programs they are enrolled to for school, work or hobby.

Where: ASH has 2 branches. One is in Greenhills. The other one is in Makati.

Greenhills - Unit 1405 Atlanta Center, Annapolis St., Greenhills San Juan
Makati - Rm. 904 Rufino Tower, Ayala Avenue, Makati City

When: You can enroll anytime and we'll let you choose your preferred schedule. To know more about the schedule of classes, please see the contact information below.

How to contact: You may contact us via 945-7595 from 10am to 7pm, Mondays to Fridays. You may also send us a message via our Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/ASH.INTERNATIONAL or email at ash_ilc@yahoo.com.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Cha-Ching: More Than Just A Cartoon Program

My earliest experience in handling money started when I was in high school. I lived in Manila away from my parents to stay in my grandparents’ house. That’s when I started to realize how I love my freedom and independence so much, even as a young child. As much as there are enjoyments, there are also responsibilities and one of them is handling my own finances.

I am thankful to the Lord for giving me hardworking and responsible parents. I couldn’t remember a time that I was in lack. I believe that the first experience of every child in handling their own finances start when they discover how their parents or elders handle their own. The way the latter handle money provides a kind of blueprint to the children until the time that they’ll do it on their own. My knowledge of my parents being hard workers and responsible managers of money became some sort of an invisible guide that became my source of help whenever I need to make financial decisions.

Though I don’t consider myself a real spendthrift, I wasn’t also a saver. This, I believe, is what’s brilliant about Cha-Ching. It laid out everything that happens to money, which can be understood by an ordinary child. Earn. Save. Spend. Donate. When I was a child, I only know about receiving and spending. I didn’t know that saving must be in between that. I didn’t know that I can actually set a goal and stick to it so that I’ll be able to have extra cash whenever I need it. I also didn’t realize that even as a child, I can earn too and contribute to my disposable income. Also, I didn’t realize that I can reduce my spending so that I will have more savings. All of these concepts are explained wonderfully through Cha-Ching. What’s more beautiful about the program is that it encourages the children to think about others. One’s money doesn’t just go to one’s self. This is why “Donate” is also part of the four things that happen to money.

Honestly, I can definitely relate to all the characters in Cha-Ching. I have become a meticulous money manager like Prudence. I have become careless spender like Bobby. I am now a young entrepreneur like Justin. I know the value of giving too like Charity. I have experienced working hard and saving a lot like Zul. I have become a spendthrift too like Pepper. But in my life right now, I think that I am more of Prudence, Zul and Charity by choice. I chose to become a combination of a meticulous money manager like Prudence, young entrepreneur like Justin and generous Charity. I actually have a special spot for Prudence inside me. I used to keep an Excel file in my computer that helps me allocate my income for all the expenses that I have so when payday comes, I already know what to do. I love the detailed work of allocating and computing and saving that Prudence teaches kids to do.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

My Life's 3 Little Secrets

The quotations that usually make a mark on us are the ones that make us feel uncomfortable. They are the ones that usually make us stand up and push us to move.

This is exactly how I felt while I was browsing the website called Life’s Little Secret by Pru Like UK. The website is filled with eye-candy photos and quotable quotes that are full of wisdom. But while I was browsing and enjoying the designs as well as the lessons, I noticed that something is jolting inside me. I paused and breathed deeply. The quotations are discomforting.

Then I realized something. The most discomforting quotes are the ones that change us the most.

Looking at the beautifully designed memes, I thought I will be offered a chance to take a break from the daily grind. I was wrong. The quotations are nuggets of wisdom that will pull your arms, tell you to stand up and click the trigger of the gun announcing the beginning of your marathon.

The most memorable memes are the ones that imprinted a mark on me the most and I’d like to share my top 3 to you.

1. It is not the length of life, but depth of life.

This meme caught my eye because of its deep blue color. The quotation got me reading it again and again because of the profound wisdom that it has. It made me ask myself how deep I am living my life. Am I really living a meaningful life? What makes a life deeply-lived?

I realized that a life well-spent is a life that is focused on what truly matters. And what truly matters in the world, as I have learned it for the past 25 years, is relationship with God and others. It is not money, ambition, career, pleasure and other temporary things. I believe this not only because I have read it in the Bible, which is the source of truth, but also because I have lived it. I believe in giving importance to things that never leave us – the ones that will stay until the end. That is why relationships and family are important. Even when we lose material things along the way, we have the people who truly love us who will stick with us no matter what. Love is important. Love is the supreme virtue.


Friday, October 11, 2013

A Special Day

fudan university shanghai china first filipino day shanghai world expo kontragapi philippine pavilionI spent almost half of my previous year in China learning how to speak Mandarin Chinese. I was one of the scholars of a foundation in the Philippines chosen to undergo a five-month training to learn about the language, culture and history of China. Every day, I will walk for more than twenty minutes from my dormitory to the teaching building in Fudan University. It was a long walk but I have no complaints as long as I get to eat my favorite Chinese bun every morning. After classes, I’ll have lunch with my classmates and then go back straight to the dormitory for my homework. During weekends, we’ll go to the church and then visit the must-see places in Shanghai. During my first few months, this has become my routine. It’s almost exactly the same every single day- until one day.

“Why don’t we organize a Filipino event?,” one of my fellow Filipino scholars suggested during a lunch time. “We are thirty-seven here. It is possible. We have artists, dancers and singers among us. I’m sure we can come up with something special to introduce the Philippines to everyone.”

Few months earlier than that, my classmates witnessed a presentation from the students from Mexico inside one of the buildings. Aside from some pictures, my roommate took home with him an overly sized hat that the Mexicans used as a prop during a dance. A few months passed, the Swedish had their turn. This time, they taught the crowd a dance for couples that the Swedish perform during festivities. It was a wonderful opportunity to experience the culture of other nations through those presentations. The amount of efforts they exerted fueled our passion to create our own "special day" for all of them.

A few weeks later, the Filipino Day was born.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Date With God

a date with God
This is the most "anti-religious" blog post I have ever written.

If you consider yourself anti-religious, I thank God that you have stumbled upon this place. I am an anti-religious too. A couple of months ago, I decided to drop religion and pursue a relationship with God. I believe in God and I know that He doesn't need my religious rituals and repetitive prayers. What He wants is my heart and after everything that happened in my life, I decided to give it to Him. From that day on, my life changed forever.

Don't get me wrong. I belong to a church because I also believe in building relationships with other people. I do not want to believe in a kind of god that doesn't want me to care for other people. This is why I believe in Jesus.

But I don't consider this a religion. Early Christians didn't. They even used to gather in their own houses and serve each other willingly and without compulsion. This, for me, is relationship. Relationship is not about obligation. Religion is.

In my pursuit of having a relationship with God, I believe He had led me to the people who had helped me a lot and also to some verses in the Bible that gave me a glimpse of His own heart. I hope that you will also give yourself a chance to experience what I have experienced. If you will only allow God, I believe He will lead you too to whichever will be able to help you.

Below are some of the things that some people do with God. These are not enumerated to be done as a ritual. The key is not in the act itself but it in your heart's desire to be in His presence. The key is in practising His presence. Then let everything flow from there.

I hope this list will be able to give you an idea in your mind on what you can do. Again, the key is in practising His presence. It's the beginning of everything.

1. Think of Him in the morning.

A lot of revelations are given to me by God during my dreams and whenever I wake up. Sometimes, I receive verses from the Bible and one time, there had been an instruction for me to check a particular verse. When I found it, it happened to be a very relevant verse that I needed to read during that time. When you wake up in the morning, practise His presence and He will lead you to many wonderful revelations that will amaze you.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

10 Reasons to Believe that Tagaytay Highlands is a Modern Day Countryside Dreamland

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Enjoying my time at the viewing deck with Taal Volcano behind me
I was very privileged to be taken by one of my ex-bosses and a good friend, Rick Manzano, in one of the most highly-esteemed real estate property in the whole archipelago, Tagaytay Highlands. It was a great place to catch up with a friend and to be in awe with the beauty of nature and man's craftsmanship all at the same time. Saying that I had a great time is an understatement and to help me preserve the experience, I am blogging about it now.

Here are 10 reasons to believe that Tagaytay Highlands is a modern day countryside dreamland.

1. It’s just an hour ride from Manila.

It only takes 60 minutes from Manila to Tagaytay Highlands taking the Sta. Rosa/Eton exit. You can even cut this 60-minute ride to lesser period of time if you take the Batino exit, which is exclusive for the club members of the Highlands.

2. All year round Tagaytay cool weather.

Being in Tagaytay, people in the Highlands enjoy this all year round cool weather which is one of the major reasons why people (mostly from Manila) visit Tagaytay often.

3. Perfect view of Taal volcano.

The Highlands is a perfect spot to look at Taal Volcano. From the viewing deck, I was amazed to see the whole lake as well as the mountains surrounding it. I never had this kind of amazing view yet even as a child who used to visit his relatives in Batangas, which is actually very near the volcano and also has a good view of it.

4. The life of exclusivity.

While we are at the viewing deck, Rick told me that one has to become a member of Tagaytay Highlands first before one can buy a property in it. To become a member of the club, one has to undergo a strenuous screening process that involves background checks, interviews, paper works and referral from people who are already members of the club.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

6 Important Realizations While Eating in Masuki Restaurant in Binondo

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1. You can actually mix beef and chicken in a dish.

I have never seen any dish like the noodles I ordered in Masuki. There was beef and chicken in it and it tastes really good. I have no complaints.

2. Siopao sauce is being spooned before.

I got used to eating siopao with the sauce being pressed from a plastic bottle or a sachet. It was my first time to eat siopao in a place where I should be using a Chinese spoon to scoop the siopao sauce out. I will describe it as a high Chinese society kind of dining experience. No plastic bottles. No sachets. Let’s be authentic Chinese here.

3. Noodles and siopao make a perfect combo meal.

This is another first time for me. I have never eaten a bowl of noodles and a siopao together. Not yet. Until, I came to Masuki. It was great.

4. Chinese people are great manual workers.

Carbs on carbs on carbs? With the kind of diet like this on Masuki, it was pretty easy to figure out that the original patrons of the restaurant are those who need energy the most. Who else can finish a bowl of noodles and a siopao in one sitting?
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