Dear Diary 004: GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUNDS


Sun Life Financial Philippines

Uhm, yup. I mean NOT just girls for sure. Everyone wants to have funds. 

A lot of people say that money is the root of all evil. We hear that quite a lot. But I guess now we also already know that our attitude, behavior, and how we deal with money directly impacts how that money works in our lives. 

Ever since I started legit working at the age of 20, I've always wanted to save. But I've never really saved enough, and if you've read my previous Dear Diary blog post, you'll probably remember I mentioned that I want to save more this year and the years to come. It's never too late but it may be if I don't start now! I plan to do this by avoiding impulse buying and by living a more sustainable lifestyle. 

I've also mentioned that I've already deleted all shopping apps on my phone and have unsubscribed from all shopping email newsletters to avoid temptations and impulse purchases. So far, it has been successful - 50% OFF? 70% OFF? Nada. Whew, pat on the back for not giving in. 

I also told myself that I'm going to take advantage of any kind of education I can get about my finances - especially if it's free. So I attended the Let's Have Some Funds activity last Sunday courtesy of Sun Life Financial Philippines. This is not the first time I have attended their activity. Every time I attend, I always take away something new, and something to validate my financial decisions in life. 

Sun Life Financial Philippines

There were three sessions and I particularly chose to attend the second one with the topic GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUNDS. I felt so connected with the speaker, Ms. Kathryn Dawn Sy, even though I haven't really met her in person before and it's the first time I've heard of her. She's such a breath of fresh air and I have to admit that at one point during her talk, I was teary-eyed. 

She is only 28, already has successful businesses, and has savings. I felt goosebumps because what she shared was something that I would want to do for myself and with my life; probably would have wanted to do many years back but wasn't able to because I didn't have the business idea in mind. My mindset was work work work work work. 

I've only started having a business mindset recently - something that can make an impact on people's lives and something that can hopefully grow my savings account and passive income as well. 

To share with you the things I've learned from the talk, I will highlight the ones that I think really stood out and resonated with me. 


  • Measure every peso. Put a name to every peso you spend. - It's crazy because I've been doing this ever since and I thought that I'm just being too OC with it. I have come to realize that knowing where your money goes is a wise thing to do because you will know which part of your lifestyle you should adjust.
  • Don't just be a dream girl. DREAM, girl! - This means taking action. When you dream, it shouldn't just stop there. You should immediately create your action steps to achieve your goals and your dreams. 
  • Be a GOAL DIGGER. - Proud #GoalDigger here. ;) It's true, nothing great comes easy. You have to work hard for it. You will fail but you will get back up, move forward, and realize that success is not a one-time thing. It's continuously evolving as long as you are alive and breathing. 
  • Find the MEANS to have funds, know how to MANAGE those funds, DISCERN or recognize what you want to achieve, and ACCELERATE or keep your funds moving and growing. 

For me personally, I will continue to work hard on my dreams by taking action every day. I will invest in worthwhile experiences and investments. I will hustle, save money, and spend the rest on what my family and I need (and sometimes want), while at the same time pursue my passion and do what I love without feeling guilty. 

TRAVEL FUNDS

How do you plan to have fun while still having FUNDs? Or perhaps the other way around - how do you have FUNDS while still having FUN? :) 


How To Enjoy New York City In 11 Streets


How To Enjoy New York City In 11 Streets

*This article is contributed by Ellie Jo for Blissful Snapshots. Photo by Chris Schippers from Pexels



“11? But New York is huge. There’s no way to have a good time at such a small number of streets.”

Are you sure? NYC is home to about as many sights and attractions as there are in one city. Maybe London comes close but America has always done things on a bigger scale than the Brits. Anyway, the point is that there’s a lot to do and restricting a visit to eleven streets seems foolish.

The thing is, there is so much to do that if you choose correctly you can fit in an array of sights and sounds. And, if you miss a few, at least you get to see “real” New York.

Time Square

Time Square is probably at the top of the list of world-famous New York attractions. When you think about it, it is some feat because there’s plenty of competition. Still, year after year, tourists flock there like they are going to be a part of a movie. Located on 42nd Street, it’s a fantastic place to start a trip and take in the scenery. Stand in the middle and try and comprehend the size of the skyscrapers as well as the crowds. Then, wander into a restaurant and pay over the odds for a burger and a beer. Perfect.


The Al Hirschfeld Theater

Approximately three blocks up on West 45th Street is the Al Hirschfeld Theater. Now, more charming and more famous buildings exist. In fact, we’ll visit another one in this post in a short while. However, what sets this out from the rest is what lies inside. For the rest of the summer and beyond, the Al Hirschfeld Theater will host Kinky Boots musical. The show brings together the working-class life with a splash of the big time, as well as Cyndi Lauper’s greatest hits. Considering it’s less than five minutes away, it’s well worth a visit.


Rockefeller Center

Almost everyone wants to go to the top of the Empire State. Maybe they think they’ll spot King Kong, or perhaps they are drawn by the history. Regardless, anyone who has scaled the Rockefeller Center will know that it’s the better skyscraper. Not to judge, but the view out over Central Park is stunning. Spanning over 3 km squared, you can get a scale of the size and beauty from the Top of the Rock. Plus, it isn’t as busy with tourists looking to snap away until their digital camera breaks. If staying inside is your thing, tickets for the “Tonight Show” are available.


The MOMA

MOMA stands for the Museum Of Modern Art. Standing on 53rd street, it has a collection of artwork that is almost difficult to believe. Lovers of art will likely compare it to the Tate Modern in London or the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. But, those who think it’s pretentious will love the vivid colors and the creativity. For example, the MOMA has a Picasso exhibition as well as some of his most famous works.



What do you think now? Is it possible to have a great time on eleven streets?



Bluewater Sumilon Island Weekend Getaway


Bluewater Sumilon Island

Sumilon Island was such a breath of fresh air to me. I haven't gone away from home for quite some time after my vacation in my hometown. I've been slumped with work and been working pretty hard on my YouTube channel that it just seemed proper to go on a quick island getaway to relax.

Bluewater Sumilon Island
*This is the Sumilon Port  - the island you can see is Sumilon Island. It takes about 15-20 minutes by boat to get there. :) 

It was such a blessing that Bluewater Sumilon Island hosted us, Cebu Content Creators, during our first anniversary! Cebu Content Creators is an independent organization of bloggers, video creators, and social media creators that my blogger friends and I started last year with the aim to Create, Connect, and Collaborate.

Bluewater Sumilon Island
*There are 30 of us! But only 12 were able to go. 

This year, it's been an honor for me to take over the leadership of the org as its chairwoman. I know I have so much on my plate. I guess my org mates know that too! Lol. But I took the responsibility to lead this year in the hopes of keeping our humble org alive and to continue our mission and vision. More to come on that, but first, let me show you how beautiful Sumilon Island is! ♥

I just used my phone to take photos. I also don't have much time to edit so I just did the usual editing of brightness and contrast, and I had to resize too so my blog won't blow up.

Bluewater Sumilon Island
Bluewater Sumilon Island

The water current was a little bit strong (and usually it really is) that there were splashes of water along the way. If it's your first time, it might be a bit scary for you. It was my first time to go to Sumilon Island but it wasn't my first time to do island hopping so I was fine.

What I liked though was that wearing a life vest was required! Many islands in the country do not put this into priority. Accidents happen so it's best to have preventive measures, so kudos to Bluewater!

We arrived at the island at around 10:00 AM, had a quick brunch, then went trekking. It was pretty hot that time butttt the view was super worth it! I'd gladly stay longer.

There was a natural lagoon where guests can go fishing, fish feeding, kayaking, and pedal boating.

Bluewater Sumilon Island
Bluewater Sumilon Island

We walked through the woods following the moderate trekking trail with a free guide. You can also opt to take the beginners trail or the advanced one.

Bluewater Sumilon Island
Bluewater Sumilon Island
Bluewater Sumilon Island

The fresh air, the sound of the waves, the clear water, and the feeling of just being away for a while was relaxing.

Bluewater Sumilon Island
Bluewater Sumilon Island
Bluewater Sumilon Island
Bluewater Sumilon Island
Bluewater Sumilon Island
Bluewater Sumilon Island
Bluewater Sumilon Island

After trekking, we had a villa tour.

Bluewater Sumilon Island
Bluewater Sumilon Island
Bluewater Sumilon Island
Bluewater Sumilon Island
Bluewater Sumilon Island
Bluewater Sumilon Island

It was almost lunch when we visited the villas - so we went directly to the glamping area to have our boodle feast courtesy of Bluewater Sumilon! It was indeed a feast of seafood and good food. Until now, I can still remember it. Haha

Bluewater Sumilon Island
Bluewater Sumilon Island
Bluewater Sumilon Island
Bluewater Sumilon Island
Bluewater Sumilon Island

I'm gonna have to try glamping next. The tents are cute and the area is directly in front of the beach so what more can you ask for? Let's not forget that the staff is super accommodating and friendly too!

This was me taking photos inside the tent. Sariling sikap bes! :D

Bluewater Sumilon Island
Bluewater Sumilon Island
Bluewater Sumilon Island

But wait there's more - we moved on to snorkeling after checking out the glamping tents. After that, we went to their famous sandbar and played with the big, strong waves. I guess the sandbar part was my favorite! It was also the part where I didn't bring my phone anymore so no videos and photos, except for this one that my friend Aldrin took. ♥

Bluewater Sumilon Island

It was an ultimate escape to paradise but we only spent a day in the island - actually just a few hours because some of us had to go back to the city early. We had the best time though, especially with the boodle lunch prepared for us by Bluewater Sumilon!

There are many things you can do in the island. If you are an adventurer or even if you just want to chill and do nothing, Sumilon is a wonderful escape. Check out more of their adventures on their official website - www.bluewatersumilon.com.ph.


5 Steps To Taking Astrophotography With A DSLR


5 Steps To Taking Astrophotography With A DSLR
*Image from Pexels.

Astrophotography is exciting as you get to capture the fascinating astronomical objects up there in the sky. The beauty of these objects is a pure delight to your eyes and while you can’t physically get to them, you can capture them with a digital camera and the best thing about it is that you don’t have to be an astronomer. Here are 5 steps to do it:

1. Find An Ideal Dark Sky To Photograph

Waiting until the night sets in isn’t enough for astrophotography. Having a dark sky that’s free from light pollution is an important requirement to being able to see astronomical objects clearly. Avoid as much as possible city lights near the point where you’ll mount your digital camera.

There are certain times of the year when astronomical objects are perfectly visible. Know your region well to have a better understanding of when these astronomical objects are properly visible.

2. Have A Good Digital Camera And Set It Up Properly

Astrophotography is done well at night and the available light will be minimal. You’ll need to have a camera with a good high ISO, 3200 being a good starting point. The camera’s sensor should be able to shoot without adding a lot of noise to the images.

The camera’s lens whose maximum aperture is at least f/2.8 is a good choice. The faster it is, the better. Your focal length should also be wide. A wider lens means you’ll be able to capture more astronomical objects. Use a tripod that is firm. If your camera has a live view feature, use it to focus on bright stars.

3. Set Up A Long Shutter Speed

To be able to capture more light and have a proper bright exposure, ensure that your shutter speed is long. Keep in mind however that the planet is constantly rotating and if you keep your shutter open for an extra extended time period, you’ll capture trails of the astronomical objects.

There is a ‘500 rule’ that works effectively. Simply divide your lens’ focal length with 500 and the resulting figure you get is what you’ll use as the shutter speed. If you have a crop sensor camera, ensure that the crop factor is accounted for by multiplying it with the lens’ focal length.

5 Steps To Taking Astrophotography With A DSLR
*Image from Pexels.

4. Have A Wide Open Aperture And Compose Your Shoot

When capturing astronomical objects, you’ll want to collect as much light as you possibly can. You’ll want to use a fast lens and if it has an unacceptable softness at f/1.4, then an f/2 stop down will sharpen things without affecting the lens’ ability to gather light.

Composing your shoot is all dependent on your preference. You can frame your shoot as a landscape shot with the astronomical objects acting as a background and the mountains, rock formations, trees, or people acting as the foreground. Experiment until you find what works well for you.


5. Adjust The Exposure Accordingly And Process Your Shots

If your first shot doesn’t have a satisfactory exposure, ensure that you adjust all the necessary settings until you have it right where you want it. There are several variations when it comes to processing your shots. Of high importance is to shoot raw and have the best exposure from the camera. If need be, apply a bit of noise reduction and sharpness.


Conclusion

For more information on capturing astronomical objects with a DSLR, check out this amazing article on taking astrophotography.