Saturday, September 29, 2018


It is the BER months.  As I am writing this article, I realized, it's only 89 days till Christmas! OMG!  That means, I need to plan my Christmas shopping ASAP!

In the past years, I have encountered several misadventures as far as Christmas shopping is concerned. There was this one time, that I completely forgotten one special person, that I did a last Christmas shopping the day before Christmas. Yes -- I found the gift that I wanted, but it took me an hour just to pay for it, got stuck in traffic on my way home, and I felt really really tired.

This year, I don't want the same experience. I just want to enjoy the Holidays, spend more time with my family, and make my family and friends happy by giving them the best gifts -- to show them how I value their existence in my life.


First, I did some research. What are the year's most coveted products or items?  Here are the top 3...

GADGETS:  Go to any mall, and you will surely find a crowd hovering at the cyberzone. Who wouldn't want to receive a brand new phone, laptop, tablet or a digital camera this Christmas? This is the top choice of all the young professionals and students.

FASHION ACCESSORIES AND BEAUTY KITS:  When everyone is keeping an IG feed of what's in and trendy for that cool OOTD - you can never go wrong with gifting your "kikay" relatives with fashion accessories and beauty essentials.  Everyone wants to look good during the annual Christmas reunion, right?

MONEY:  This would always be a popular choice. I grew up in a very traditional family, that gives "aguinaldo" during Christmas. That means "crisp" paper bills in an envelope. Sometimes, my balikbayan uncles will give me dollars as  aguinaldo. 


After doing some research and I have come to a conclusion. Gadgets, fashion accessories, beauty essentials are things available at the malls. But do I really know in particular what gadget model will my relatives want?  Or which particular brand, or color, or type of clothes, accessories or make up will my kikay relatives will prefer? The answer is a big NO!  

So I think the PRACTICAL, HASSLE FREE and WISE choice -- is to give Gift Certificates this Christmas. 

Why giving Gift Certificate to loved ones considered the BEST CHRISTMAS GIFT IDEA? Here are the reasons:

G - ifts that are considered perfect for the people you love, are the ones that they can personally choose. These are the things that they aspire for; it can be a gadget, bag, shoes, an acitivity to pamper themselves or dining in their favorite restaurants.   

C - onvenience.  For the gift giver, sending gift certificate is very convenient.  It saves time and money -- no more gift wrapping, no more additional budget for transportation when you go to the malls. Above all, energy is conserved, because you don't get to be stuck in traffic and the mall's Christmas rush. 

R - ecipients will enjoy  a variety of choices.  Recipients of Sodexo Gift Certificate have the freedom to choose from over 10,000 merchant outlets nationwide with the country's most preferred brands.  From shopping, dining, relaxing, entertainment to leisure and so much more, recipients will never run out of things to do.

E - njoyable to use than cash. The problem with receiving money as gifts, if you are not wise enough to put it in a bank, there is a higher chances that you might spend it on things that you don't really need. You might get subjected to peer pressure, to spend the cash on posh coffee or computer games - instead of buying what you really need and want.  With Gift Certificates, you have the assurance that your loved ones will purchase what their hearts desire.

G - ift certificates can now be delivered anywhere in the Philippines. So if you have relatives in the provinces, the GC's can be delivered on their doorsteps!  For a minimum purchase of Sodexo vouchers amounting to 2000 or more, there is free  shipping.  

A - wesome shopping choices.  Sodexo Premium Pass, SM Gift Pass, Rustan's Supermarket Gift Certificate, Shopwise and Wellcome Gift Certificate, Walter Mart Gift Pass.

L - argest is the keyword!  The online gift certificate store is made possible by SM, the LARGEST retailer in the Philippines, and Sodexo, one of the LARGEST gift voucher companies worldwide.  So guys, you are buying gifts from the best in the business!

O - rder it ONLINE!  You may order the GC's at, the first and only online 
gift certificate store in the Philippines.  What makes it more special, you may also       order special envelopes  together with your Sodexo vouchers and write your personal Christmas wish and message on it.

So what is 2018's BEST CHRISTMAS GIFT IDEA from Mrs.Wise?   GC REGALO!  

I have always believed that "its really the thought that counts" when it comes to gift-giving. So there is no better gift to give than one that is practical and convenient.  That is Sodexo Gift Certificates from GC REGALO for you.


Wednesday, September 26, 2018


What is a freelancer?  It is basically a self employed person offering business or service, to one or more clients at a given time.

I have been a freelancer for 5 years now.  In 2013, I opted to terminate my contract as a writer in the biggest TV network in the country.  I was not a regular employee there, but I was working as a "regular talent" from the time I graduated in 1992 till 2013 -- that's 21 years of being a TV writer!  As a regular talent, I was given minimal benefits, which were only given to me in my last 5 years with the company.  There was no security of tenure. 

The things that I mentioned above, were basically the same things a freelancer have to combat.  While there are several benefits to being a freelancer -- being your own boss, flexible working schedule, sometimes you can work at home, accept projects that you really like -- there are also numerous disadvantages.  And the one I fear the most -- the unpredictable income. I don't know when will the next project will be?  In between projects, how do I stay afloat amidst monthly bills, inflation and emergencies.

The answer I guess -- is to properly manage your money and finances.   Let me share with you a few tips I have diligently following all these years:


Because I don't know when will the next income will come or hit my paypal account - I always compute for the LOWEST possible income that I can possibly get.  I will need to subtract from it the BASIC NECESSITIES that you cannot take for granted -- monthly bills, food, teens' allowance, insurance premium, paying debts, monthly amortization, tuition and tax payments.

I allocate 25% of my earning to these basic necessities. 

The next 25% -- I reserve for expenses related to my work as a freelancer, which includes: transportation fee, food if I go out on meetings, electricity, internet charges, mobile phone load.

The bigger chunk, 50% goes to savings.  You might ask, why 50%?  Its so BIG!  This is where I get the money for investments and emergencies.  

When life is good, and projects are abundant -- I always SAVE for the rainy days. I prioritize SAVINGS and INVESTMENTS.  I can sometimes become an OC-saver -- wala pa sa kamay ko ang sweldo o bayad, naka budget na!  Trust me when I say, budgeting entails a lot of discipline. 

When life isn't that good, my last resort is to revise the budget. I would sometime make drastic cut offs: give up gourmet coffee or expensive meat for a while;  or find ways on how to save on electricity;  text instead of calling;  Bottomline, stick to a budget and not go overboard!


It is of utmost importance that everyone has an emergency fund!  Also, during "lean days" when projects are scarce, this is where I get extra money for expenses.  But when business is booming, I always prioritize building my emergency fund.


I always pay my credit card debts on time.  I simply don't want to pay for credit card interests.  It is not WISE.

When we applied for housing loan, we chose the 10-year plan versus the 15 or 20 year plan.  We paid for a higher amortization rate, but the shorter years spent paying, gave us more financial freedom.


Freelancers have to take care of themselves. They need to assured that in times of crisis and emergencies, they will have money stashed somewhere, that can at least, give you peace of mind.

You don't know when an illness will strike. You may be very healthy today, but tomorrow is another story. Six years ago, I was diagnosed with an illness that required so many medical tests and expensive medicine. Good thing was, I was wise to invest in a health card.  Now, my husband, took on the responsibility of providing HMO plan for the entire family.

Now that I am not getting any younger, as a birthday present to myself this year, I am getting another health investment.  My choice is an insurance that is also an investment-linked life insurance plan; something that provides me with a complete life, accident, disability and health protection benefits, of course, with potential for wealth accumulation.

In the coming years, I am very sure that we will be seeing the growth in numbers of freelancers -- or the gig economy as we like to call it now.  Keep in mind that freelancers are in the unique position to be in control of how much they earn.  It's all about taking on more work, or asking for a good deal for your work.  When money comes in, always be WISE to save, invest and manage your money.

Friday, September 14, 2018


Just the other day, I was pondering what I can do with my spare time.  I am a freelance TV and events writer, a full time lifestyle-mommy blogger -- who spends an average of uhmm... 12 hours a day in front of my computer.  I am very much active on social media and has average knowledge when it comes to the technical side of managing a website. What I can brag about is, I have lots of time and energy to LEARN more! 

What if -- I elevate my digital self one step higher? Wouldn't it be exciting to learn more about E-Commerce?  What I am interested in is "selling" my writing skill and 20+ years of experience in events in TV to a wider audience. But how do I go about it?

Thanks to X-SCALE:  Asia E-Commerce Summit 2018!  I was invited to the media launch of this exciting event and learned in a short span of time, very much INSPIRED of things to come.

photo courtesy:  @Leapreneur 


  • it is estimated that by 2020-25, the E-Commerce industry in the Philippines will be a trillion-peso business. Don't you like to join the fun?  
  • by knowing the secrets of E-Commerce, you can grow your humble business into a multi-million business?  Of course it takes a lot of effort and learning on your part! Mr. Jerry Ilao, one of the speakers for XCALE revealed, that he knows of a business earning millions with just FOUR employees. Whoa!
  • if you are like me, who is very afraid of online SCAMMERS, then the more you should know the ins and outs of E-Commerce. Again, the key is to learn and know the secrets!
  • Just like in any other business, it is important to network with the best people! Hoping that I will meet all the KEY people in E-Commerce through XCALE.


It is the first big summit in the Philippines organized by topnotch e-commerce gurus and pioneers which intends to assemble at least 1000 participants to boost online marketing ideas, impart knowledge and network with industries and strengthen the e-commerce aspect of growing business.

Confirmed partner-speakers and co-presenters are Alibaba, Lazada, Payoneer, OneOkada, ShineOn, Viralstyle and a lot more.

For information on tickets do visit


Thursday, September 13, 2018



I saw these words on the internet a couple of years ago and I thought it was so funny... at first. But the more I think about the words, the more I realize the truth behind it -- and it scares me!


When I was in elementary, I remember vividly, when my mother said, "the only dream that I have is to live longer so I can be sure that you finish college. Because if I die before that dream is realized, I don't know if you will have the means to finish your education."

Why?  Because all that she has are her savings (for my education and emergency).  She is a stay-at-home mom with no insurance, no investments, no educational plan.  All she ever wanted was to personally put her savings into my education.

Fast forward to the present -- I can hear myself saying the same words.  If you will ask me now what is my goal in life -- it is to continue working to be able to send my children to school  (two college students in 1-2 years).  I have a few investments, I am a freelancer -- so I wake up every single day worried if I can attain my goal.

In short -- I have become my mother's daughter. 

The only difference, I am more courageous and let's say more informed when it comes to investments and taking risks:

My eldest will be celebrating her 18th birthday in August. What's the normal thing to plan -- a birthday party.  But I don't think this is a WISE choice. I asked my daughter if she wants a party, thankfully -- she said no.  She just wants to treat a few friends to pizza and chika. Which made me think, what can I give her that is so important at the same time, I can impart some important lesson in life?

18th birthday -- officially marks the end of childhood. The passage to adulthood. This is very important.  So why not learn from my mother? 

So I decided, I am giving her an early lesson in investment. 

1.  I  am giving her the Sun Life Prosperity Fund. Unlike her lola who was hooked on bank deposits, I would like to teach her that there are other choices in investments. The Prosperity Fund has a higher yield than deposits.  Since I want her to start slow, I want something that will earn at the same time relatively stable. My choice -- the BOND FUND.  

2.  I don't want to worry too much about the future just as my mother did. So I am also giving myself a "gift". Hey, it's been 18 years -- I deserve a gift because I have raised a wonderful daughter.  But my gift choice is still connected to her, and my son.  I am also getting a Sunlife insurance plan. I am considering the one coupled with a "critical illness" coverage. I have to face life's reality -- am not getting any younger.


You enroll your children to the best schools, because you want them to have the  best education. You teach them to be street smart, to be emotionally stable, because you want them to be READY for the real world. Complete the learning, teach them to become financially educated.


This is one lesson that I constantly teach my teens. In this day and age that you buy anything using your credit card or debit card -- there is the imminent danger to buy things that you actually cannot afford.

My rules:  if you want to buy something, buy it with cash.  If you don't have enough cash... SAVE.  You want that sneakers but you don't have enough money, wait until you have enough. This will also give you ample time to think if you really want to buy that sneakers. This also saves them from becoming impulsive shoppers.

In my family, DEBT is only allowed to purchase investments or acquire assets. DEBT is not for shopping, travel, gadgets, etc.

Speaking of Debt -- congratulate me because somehow, I just reached a milestone!  We just finished our mortgage this July!  So now I can concentrate on paying for my Sun Life Insurance.   I am that kind of person -- I don't bite more than I can chew.  I invest, one at a time  :)

I think that is the best gift you can give yourselves mommies and daddies -- investments that in the long run, will lessen financial anxieties and stress.