Romantic Engagement and Fine-Dining By the Sea at Shangri-la Mactan

I’ve just been engaged! And it’s a different kind of engagement, way, way better that how I thought it would be… In case you’re interested to find out, you can check my 2 previous posts. This is about our unique engagement and this one’s about our bespoke engagement rings… 

For this blog post, I just want to make a special shoutout to Shangri-la Mactan for creating a one-of-a-kind engagement / romantic fine-dining experience for us. And in case you want a similar one, I’ll share with you the inclusions and how much a set-up like this can cost. Read on…

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OUR BESPOKE ENGAGEMENT RINGS

When it comes to jewelry, especially rings, I don’t like surprises. I want jewelry that I consider one-of-a-kind, truly beautiful, symbolic, and something that I will never get tired of looking at for the rest of my life. I think this is one of the reasons why Mahal doesn’t like surprising me. He wants to please me as much as he can and wants only what’s best for me and what can make me happy.

And so, we chose to have our engagement rings customized. Normally, it’s just the girl who gets an engagement ring, right? But as you may know, if you’ve been following me for a long time now, you know that I don’t follow the trends or what’s considered normal (lol!) I personally wanted us all to have one ring each to symbolize our promise to each other that we will soon become one legal family.

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A DIFFERENT KIND OF ENGAGEMENT

As J. Lo wrote in her inner circle newsletter “On the JLO: “Life is an art… and we are the artists… make it as beautiful as you want and create it exactly as you want it to be…” ❤ ❤ ❤ 

Growing up, I never really had a clear vision of what getting engaged and getting married should be like for me. I remember attending very few weddings during my childhood and teens and it always left me with feelings of lack and sadness coz I felt like I can never have that kind of wedding. My automatic negative thoughts were: “I’m too poor to be able to afford that.” “That will never happen for me”… etc. True enough, you attract what you think. Despite the amount of money I’ve had in my early adult years, I never had that kind of engagement nor wedding. 

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3 Ways to Use Home Equity to Generate Passive Income

When one is at the point in their life asking themselves “Should I rent or buy a house?” many questions are going to come to mind. They might be thinking about whether where they are looking to buy is where they really want to settle down and if not, will it be somewhere that’ll be easy to rent out. It’s also more than fair to think about what the market is going to look like for the coming years and what that’s going to mean when they are looking to sell. 

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Best Outdoor Activities in Vancouver

Vancouver is one of those cities I would love to visit someday. Based on what I hear and what I’ve researched, it is one of the most incredible cities you’ll ever find.  From the amazing mix of art and tech industries to the fantastic food and amazing people, it’s no surprise that this is one of the most popular cities on Earth.

Getting outside in the city is lots of fun too!  So if you’re also interested in going to Vancouver to experience its many adventures, read on to find out more. I’ve listed the top outdoor activities we can all do in Vancouver that make the city even more exciting.

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How We Celebrated Valentine’s Day Throughout These Years

I was planning to have a repeat of how we celebrated Valentine’s Day last year because I really liked it so much. But because we are in Cebu City today (we’ve been here since Feb. 11 doing a different kind of shopping spree and running some important errands), and we won’t be traveling back home until probably evening of Valentine’s Day itself, I just thought of sharing with you here some of the things we did to celebrate the love occasion throughout these years. 

This post is actually a long dedication to my Mahal, who stuck with me throughout all these many years (we’ll be celebrating the 10th anniversary of our best friendship this March and we are now on our 90th month of being together as life partners); who loved me and continue to love me through thick and thin; who, despite all my flaws and craziness, continue to show his patience, dedication, and commitment to me and our little family. I just want to declare to the whole world how much I appreciate everything he does for me and our son, and I thank God every day for him coming into my life…

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10 Financial Tools and Tips That Can Help You Stick to Your Budget and Grow Your Money This 2022

We’re heading to the 3rd week of the new year. Have you started working on your 2022 goals and dreams yet? Perhaps, my previous blog post can help you as I shared there 3 strategies I use to reach mine —> How to Get Anything You Want – 3 Strategies to Help You Achieve Your Goals in 2022

If your 2022 goal has something to do with finances like mine, then stick around because I’ll be sharing with you some basic tools and tips I’ve used and continue to use to keep my finances in check, stay out of debt, thereby helping me save more, invest more, retain a good cash flow, and let my money grow

I think even before one thinks about the more complicated nature of finance, it is best to tackle the basics first which is HOW TO BUDGET RIGHT. I believe this is an area where many of us fail from time to time, if not every single time! I’ve been there in my 30’s. I’ve always wanted to budget well but I’ve always ended up in debt… huge debts to the point that my precious house – the product of my own blood, sweat, and tears — almost got repossessed by the bank!                                    

Good thing I was able to start getting out of that rabbit hole and just before I hit my 40’s, I was finally debt-free! I even managed to finish my home mortgage payments back in 2017 making me a proud home owner of a two-story townhouse in one of our capital’s central business districts where real estate prices go high! I’m about to turn 44 next month and I’m happy to say that I’ve maintained my debt-free status ever since. Perhaps you might think it was wisdom that comes with getting older coupled with discipline. It’s both, but it’s also more than that too. I’ll share with you the basics below. 

The financial tools and tips I’ve used to help me budget well and which can help you stick to your budget too are as follow:

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How to Get Anything You Want – 3 Strategies to Help You Achieve Your Goals in 2022 

As we begin our journey this New Year, many of us think about having new goals, new dreams, and basically how do we get about achieving them. I’ve thought about these things myself. Mine in particular is about increasing my net worth to a particular amount and this involves budgeting all of my money and assets well. This thought has been ringing in my mind since late last year, especially after Typhoon Rai hit us and I knew in my gut that I should make this financial goal my number 1 priority. 

So, to help me dissect the process of how I’m going to achieve this particular financial goal of mine this year, I listened to a podcast by Marie Forleo discussing the topic “How to Get Anything You Want?” This can actually apply to getting anything you want this year — whether it be getting your life back together, having the kind of relationship you want, traveling to a particular place, getting the job or career you want, setting up your own business, winning a nobel prize — you name it and the strategies here will help you make it happen.

I’ll share with you below the notes I took so that you too, can have some ideas on how to achieve your goals for 2022, especially if it’s a financial goal like mine. 

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Typhoon Rai (Odette): Nightmare Before Christmas 

Just when you had everything planned out for the remainder of the year — your tasks, projects, finances, celebrations… the biggest typhoon of your life hit you — metaphorically and literally. 

We were minding our usual business… I was working and finishing my deadlines for the week and getting ready for client meetings. Mahal was busy with the resort. Everyone was working. Though we were getting news reports about an impending typhoon, upon checking, the eye of Typhoon Rai or locally known as Typhoon Odette won’t be hitting us but instead, it will head straight to Cebu City which is 3-4 hours away from where we are. We had plans of doing our Christmas shopping there that weekend so we figured that we just had to reschedule. Plus, we’ve already experienced so many kinds of weather conditions here that we became complacent. We felt confident that it’s just another one of those storms. There could possibly be a brownout (electricity getting cut off) that will last for an hour or two, or at the most overnight, but that was it. We didn’t do any kind of preparation at all — we didn’t save water; we didn’t charge our phones and electrical devices; we didn’t check if we still have enough gas; we didn’t buy supplies… nothing. It was as if it was just another day in our beach kind of life

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The Root of Happiness (And How I Found It Around Halloween)

I’ve been listening to Rob Dial’s podcasts. He’s a mindset mentor and one of the things he discussed was about happiness and the root of it or the key to achieving it. He based it on what Will Smith said before that it’s not the material things nor money that will bring you happiness (I think many of us know this already), but it’s peace. Peace is actually what I have been experiencing just recently, around Halloween time. It’s not because Halloween is my most favorite time of the year and this year’s celebration has been the happiest Halloween I’ve had so far (I thought last year’s Halloween celebration was the bomb! Didn’t think we’d top that off this year!), but it’s more than that. 

I’m not sure if I mentioned it here before or in some other diary of mine, but living here in Oslob, for as long as I can remember, wasn’t really a good idea for me because I know and I feel that there are people here who don’t like me… they don’t like me because I’m with Mahal… because I used to be married to someone else… and maybe because I am just the kind of person they couldn’t believe achieved so much in life without much help from others. The way people think here is that you can either only be successful if you work abroad or if you’re married to a foreigner. I’m neither, so, maybe that boggles them. Honestly, I don’t really know why they don’t like me. The reasons I mentioned above are just my assumptions. 

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