Thursday, April 30, 2009
Tuesday morning, I was chatting with my Ate Marj online. We talked about our work, travel plans and even finances and investments. She said that she had investments in PruLife UK and has a monthly Cooperative contribution in their company.
In my case, one of my investments is a Pension plan in Prudentialife which I opened in 2006. The plan is payable in 5 years and I only have 3 installments left. Ate Marj asked me about the status of Prudentialife since the pre-need companies in the Philippines have been shaking after the Legacy scandal and the economic turmoil. I told her that it’s still okay. While I was chatting with her, I Googled about Prudentialife and was shocked with the headlines from ABS-CBN. The headlines says that the SEC revoked Prudentialife’s license to sell pre-need plans effective April 16, 2009.
I immediately sent a text message to my agent and asked the real status of Prudentialife. According to her, I don’t have to worry since the company has more than 10 Billion pesos in trust fund. I went to Prudentialife’s web site and read this letter from their President:
Letter to Planholders
The global economic crisis has affected a number of industries worldwide including the Philippine pre-need industry. The trust funds of the industry have not been earning their projected returns. The local stock market and fixed income investments have performed poorly last year causing trust fund deficits.
Compounding the problem of the industry is the ongoing investigation of the Legacy fraud case. This has dragged down the confidence in our industry whose image has already been tarnished when major preneed firms went down years ago.
To address the situation, the Philippine Federation of Pre-Need Plan Companies, Inc. (PFPPCI) was left with three options to consider for its members:
1. Option 1 – To raise new capital based on the Multi-Year Capital and Trust Fund Buildup Program approved by the SEC last December 22, 2008 and subsequently revised last February 25, 2009.
2. Option 2 – To “Orderly Exit” the industry and pay plan benefits as warranted.
3. Option 3 – To seek corporate rehabilitation that is actually a no-choice situation that could delay the procedure of refunding plan benefits.
We would like to inform you that we have submitted our proposed Multi Year Capital and Trust Fund Build-up Program last February 2, 2009. However, the SEC declined our proposed program because the assets we offered for contribution to the trust fund and capital does not qualify as acceptable assets under the SEC revised program.
Under the revised program, the acceptable assets that can be contributed to the trust fund and capital are income generating real estate and unlisted shares that are not in any way related to the Preneed company.
The assets we offered are real estate properties that have good values but are not yet income generating. Aside from this, we offered unlisted shares of profitable companies but are affiliates of our preneed company. The SEC did not accept these assets for contribution to our trust fund and capital.
In view of this, SEC has directed our company to refrain from selling new preneed plans effective April 16, 2009. Nevertheless, we will continue to operate as a servicing pre-need company and pay plan benefits of our planholders as warranted.
Prudentialife Market Resource Corporation (PMRC) will continue to operate and market our other services that include Health Plans, Mutual Funds, and Insurance products among others. Notably, our sales for these products have grown significantly last year.
We hope that these developments will be temporary owing to the prevailing economic environment and government efforts to institute much needed regulatory reforms. We are confident we could pursue new opportunities and build the business of Prudentialife beyond the pre-need industry.
We thank you for your trust and confidence for the past 31 years and hope for your continued understanding and support in these trying times.
Jose Alberto T. Alba
Prudentialife Plans, Inc.
Thursday, April 30, 2009 by Makoy · 1
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
I saw this cute TV commercial on TFC and I immediately loved it.
If you didn't get the commercial, here's my interpretation. The family just moved in to their new house and this cute kid moves in small pace because he is used to his small house. Then he realized that he is now in a new big house. This is a very cute commercial. And I love the jingle.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009 by Makoy · 1
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Yesterday, I saw on TV Patrol World the Swine Flu epidemic. This swine flu is currently in Mexico and in the US. According to the report, you can get it with having contact with a human infected with a swine flu. Eating pork meat will not infect you so we don’t have to worry. The trick is proper cooking to kill the bacteria.
Anyway, while I was on my way to the office today I read on someone else’s paper that in Mexico kissing was already banned. I think this is just right to prevent the spread of the swine flu.
On the statement of the Department of Health in the Philippines, to prevent swine flu we have to wash our hands at all time, do not shake hands with others, kiss or make “beso-beso” (kiss on the cheeks) and even hugging. Isn’t that awful for those in love?
Monday, April 27, 2009
Last February, I had a chat with Pinay Jade about money stuffs here in Singapore. I have asked her about the banking interest rates and told me that Citibank apparently has the biggest interest rate here with 1.2% per annum. Before, I transfer my savings to my BPI account in the Philippines but since BPI is only less than 1% interest rate per annum, I have decided to just save here. In Singapore
Aside from the 1.2% per annum interest rate, you will receive a VISA debit ATM card and a FREE lifetime supply of checkbook. And lastly, you will receive a $20 cash voucher from Esso or Cold Storage or TANGS. Isn’t that cool?
When you refer a friend, you will also receive a $20 cash voucher. So, if you are interested to open a Citibank Step Up Account, call Edmund Low at 63283515 and indicate me (MARK FERDINAND TAYAG) as your referral.
Monday, April 27, 2009 by Makoy · 0
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Saturday, April 25, 2009
I have learned that this Filipino family is now a Singapore Citizen and they are also from Paranaque City in the Philippines. What’s amazing is that they know my relatives in the Paranaque. Isn’t that cool? That night, I confirmed that I will take the room and issued them a check with my one month deposit. That by the way is my first issue of check. Cool, cool, cool!
That night, I also met the other owner, the Filipina’s husband.
I’m moving in by May 1, which is also a holiday so I will have an ample time to move. My only dilemma is Yishun is far from work. It will take me around 30-40 minutes of travel from my usual 15-20 minutes. It’s nice though that there’s a swimming complex and a stadium nearby so I can still keep in shape.
by Makoy · 2
Yesterday, I have planned to view four rooms. Before 6 P.M., I have trimmed it down to just two. I have rescheduled the other Yishun room and was undecided to view the room in CCK since it was out of my budget (S$550 without PUB). My budget is only S$ 450-500 with PUB, wifi and aircon of course.
The first I viewed was in Bukit Gombak. The block is just near the Bukit Gombak MRT Station. Just walking distance actually and what I like with the location is that on the ground floor there are shops like 7-Eleven, medical clinics and a nearby market. A very ideal place to live. The room by the way is for S$500 monthly inclusive of PUB (Public Utility Bill). The unit is just a two-room flat and it was very crowded and messy. I checked the room and it was quite spacious. My only problem is the air-conditioning unit. Have you seen an aircon with a wood cover on it? Well, that’s my problem. It looks like it will not lower the temperature of the room. When I left the unit, I sent a SMS message to the tenant and asked if the owner can change the aircon unit. She replied hours later and even saying that the room was already taken.
Yishun was my next destination after Bukit Gombak. Yishun is 10 MRT stops to work and I need to take a bus from the MRT to reach the flat. At Yishun MRT, I went first to Long John Silver’s and ate my dinner. After that I went to the Bus Interchange and looked for my Bus Stop. I reached my destination after 6 bus stops since I took the wrong bus. It should be only 4 stops. When I reached the flat, the Filipina owner and her son was there. They just moved in that day and the flat is still messy and the walls are newly painted. I checked my supposed room and I immediately liked it. The room is only for S$450 without PUB but with free Wifi and Mio TV.
Friday, April 24, 2009
Last Tuesday night, I have finally watched the CATS musical. The musical started at exactly 8 P.M. and ended 10:45 P.M. with a 15 minutes (not sure if it’s 30 minutes) intermission break. CATS by the way is the second musical that I have seen here in Singapore. Just like the Cinderella musical, CATS is housed at the Esplanade Theatre.
Since I have a new digital camera, I was excited to take more pictures of the Esplanade. It’s just annoying that when I entered the theatre my battery ran out. Too bad, I did not bring my extra battery. I really thought it has some extra battery life. Anyway, I used my cellphone camera to take some pictures while inside the theatre. It wasn’t as good as my Sony Cybershot W170 camera.
For the review, I can honestly say that this musical is far way better than Cinderella. It is fun to watch especially the characters are in Cats costume. There were fun and some boring moments. My favorite part by the way is the “Memory” scene with the character Grizabella played by Delia Hannah. Even the musical is about CATS, the musical showed different personalities of people and reiterated that we should respect one another.
Unlike other musical, in this musical viewers will be surprised that CATS performers will come near you. There are some scenes that they suddenly appear on the balcony and during the intermission I had the opportunity to see face-to-face a CATS performer. Arghh…Too bad I wasn’t able to capture it on video or in good quality picture. Darn!
This musical also has many dance repertoires and a magical act. This musical is really spectacular.
CATS Musical in Singapore will run until May 3 so book your tickets now and please invite me to watch with you (for free). Hehe.
Written in association with London theatre tickets.
Friday, April 24, 2009 by Makoy · 1
Thursday, April 23, 2009
April 22 is Earth Day and I just want to share some great innovation that I have watched in Discovery Channel when I was in the Philippines. This time, you should have learned that the icy part of Earth is continuously melting because of global warming. The melting of ice worsens the condition by raising the sea level. High sea level means some parts of the world will sink or be erased.
In the episode of Project Earth, scientists did an experiment on the Greenland’s ice. They used this ice blanket material which has the property to reflect 80% of the sun’s heat powers compared to the regular snow which reflects only 40% of the sun’s rays. In short, this ice blanket will prevent the ice from melting and can save the source of our fresh water in the future.
In the experiment, they placed the ice blanket near the lake in Greenland. The scientists even feared that the ice near the lake will soon collapse because the data shows that the lake increases depth everyday. After six weeks, the scientists went back to the area and surprisingly the experiment worked. The area with the blanket on was firm and intact while the area around it lowered to 2 feet.
Imagine if all parts of Greenland and the Arctic will be covered with this material. For sure, there will be a big difference. The only problem is the cost which is more than 100 billion dollars and some logistic issues. I hope this experiment will open the eyes of the people especially the powerful nations. Maybe they can help to fund this initiative.
Anyway, here are some of the facts about the Polypropylene ice blanket:
* The polypropylene blankets are incredibly strong — they will stretch to more than 55 percent of their original length prior to failing.
* Under a static puncture test, the blankets fail at 3,800 N. This is equivalent to placing a 380-kg weight on the blanket.
* The material is highly tear-resistant — the non-woven long fibers stop the tear from spreading.
* The chemical makeup of the blanket material makes it highly resistant to organic substances.
* The polypropylene is very heavy, weighing 340 grams per square meter.
* Like many materials used outdoors, the material is treated with UV stabilizers. Ultimately, the sun will break down the chemical structure of the polypropylene over a matter of years, and stop it from being a great reflector and insulator. The manufacturers have added even more UV stabilizer than usual to this blanket because of its role on the glaciers.
*Source: Discovery Channel
Thursday, April 23, 2009 by Makoy · 1
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Top 10 Hollywood Movies as of April 19, 2009
1. 17 Again
2. State of Play
3. Hannah Montana The Movie
4. Monsters Vs. Aliens
5. Fast and Furious
6. Crank: High Voltage
7. Observe and Report
9. I Love You, Man
10. The Haunting in Connecticut
Tuesday, April 21, 2009 by Makoy · 0
Monday, April 20, 2009
As of 3:30 in the afternoon, I am officially back in Singapore. It was a stressful morning and I am very thankful that I made it on time in the airport. Our househelper in the Philippines took quite some time to call a cab so I was very tensed. At the Immigration counter, the queue was very long and it was irritating that some Filipina domestic helpers aren't queueing. The immigration officer in our counter was also annoyed with them that he told the Filipina domestic helpers to queue. They were fortunate though that a different immigration officer came to their rescue. He called another immigration officer and opened another counter.
More stories to tell tomorrow. I have to rest now. I just viewed two rooms after I had dinner. y the way, I am quite pleased with the first flat that I have viewed. I still have second thoughts though. For sure, I will confirm to the tenant if I will take the room or not tomorrow morning.
I have many pictures and videos from my niece's birthday party. I will post that this week. Sigh...I miss my niece. It was sad though that she did not recognize me again. She cries when I try to carry her. My last vacation, we were already close and now it's back to zero.
Monday, April 20, 2009 by Makoy · 1
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
She is the reason why I am having a three-day vacation in the Philippines. Isn’t she cute and adorable? She is turning one this Saturday. Happy Birthday Samantha! Upon reading this post, I am in the flight going to the Philippines.
Here are Sam's new pictures courtesy of my sister Tina.
Friday, April 17, 2009 by Makoy · 3
Thursday, April 16, 2009
I was shocked to hear hours ago that Ted Failon's wife was shot in the head. From the initial reports it was said that she committed suicide. Police reports on the other hand are saying that someone shot her since it wasn’t a close contact. Police are now investigating at Ted Failon. Is he the suspect or the victim here?
In the interview with Ces Drilon, Ted Failon said that the suicide was due to financial problems. Ted Failon with his daughter Kaye, co-anchor Korina Sanchez and ABS-CBN Vice-President for sports Peter Musngi accompanied him in the police headquarters.
Here is the video from his interview.
Thursday, April 16, 2009 by Makoy · 2
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Yesterday after work, I went straight to Mustafa in Farrer Park MRT. This mall by the way is a 100% Indian mall and according to friends they sell cheap stuffs from chocolates, electronics, perfumes, clothes and of course gold stuffs. The last time I went for a vacation in the Philippines, I also visited Mustafa to buy some stuffs for my family and friends.
By the way, I’ll be in the Philippines this Friday morning and will be going back to Singapore on Monday morning. My niece is celebrating her 1st birthday and it is a must that I go home. It’s just sad that her mother, my sister, won’t be able to make it in her daughter’s birthday. My sister is in UK and according to her the air fare is too expensive. She will just send the money for the air fare to her daughter.
Back in Mustafa, I was able to buy many chocolates for my family. I even bought pistachio nuts and some cassava chips for my mother. I hope she will like it. I still need to buy some shirts for all of them. I checked Giordano last Monday but they don’t have a sale. It’s expensive lah!
See you my baby Samantha and the Philippines!
Wednesday, April 15, 2009 by Makoy · 3
Top 10 Hollywood Movies as of April 12, 2009
1. Hannah Montana: The Movie
2. Fast and Furious
3. Monsters Vs. Aliens
4. Observe and Report
6. I Love You, Man
7. The Haunting in Connecticut
8. Dragonball Evolution
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Two weeks to go and I'll be sleeping soon on the streets of Singapore. Waah! I still don't have a room for myself. I have been trying hard to find on the Internet and even asking the help of an agent. Still no luck. Over the past two weeks, I have been viewing rooms. Some are really out of taste and one in particular that I like. The problem is the budget and the location.
It's just depressing and stressful at the same time. Anyway, I have asked two to three agents for their help and I hope in the coming days they will give me good news.
Calling all Filipinos here in Singapore. I am asking your help if you know a common room for one person near Jurong East MRT. Here are some of my requirements: with aircon, heater, Wifi Internet, can cook and do the laundry. And I preferred Filipino housemates by the way. Drop a comment here or send me an email at email@example.com. Thanks!
Tuesday, April 14, 2009 by Makoy · 1
Monday, April 13, 2009
Since my photo blog is new and needs traffic reinforcement, I am going to post it here so people will be reminded to visit. I have changed again the template of my photo blog for the third time and this time, I think I have found the best template for my photo blog. See the whole batch of pictures from the St. Mary of the Angels by clicking the post title.
Monday, April 13, 2009 by Makoy · 0
This is my first holy week here in Singapore and I find it strange that people celebrate it differently. Yesterday, I went to the Easter Sunday mass at St. Mary of the Angels in Bukit Batok. I wasn't late this time, thank God. The church was modestly decorated including the flower arrangements at the altar and in the main entrance of the church. At that mass, I took that chance to pray to God to help me find a new room. Two weeks to go and I am moving out in our current room. At this moment, I am still having a hard time finding a cheap room for myself. Most of that I have seen doesn't allow cooking and the use of the aircon.
Back to the Easter Sunday mass, before the priest ended the mass, he went to the opposite side of the altar and blessed a basket which I thought was an offering. Apparently, it was an easter bread that would be distributed to all. It's just amazing that here in Singapore they have a different tradition during Easter Sunday. And the bread tasted like cinnamon bread. It feels good to eat something blessed by a priest.
Happy Easter everyone!
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
I just love this commercial which I always see on Star World. At first, I though that this is a movie when it is only a TV commercial for Australia's tourism. The Philippines should have something like that.
Saturday, April 11, 2009 by Makoy · 1
Friday, April 10, 2009
Adam Lambert as we all know is the front runner in the current American Idol. But did you know that he has done many musicals in the past including The Ten Commandments with Val Kilmer. Just in time for the Holy week, here is Adam Lambert playing as Joshua in Ten Commandments the Musical.
Friday, April 10, 2009 by Makoy · 2