Thursday, December 5, 2013

Colonics: Key to Better Health and Fit Body

Good health and vitality.

For most of us, there is still an endless search for that “magic pill” which can make all our health and beauty concerns go away. However, it doesn’t exist, but the modern medicine has come a long way that it has developed and found many great innovations that can help us aid our health and beauty woes.

Over the last decade, a lot of us were clueless about the functions of colon and what it does to the body. The colon is an organ that plays a very important role in the functions and effectiveness of many other organs. It is a section of the large intestine that extends from the cecum to the rectum. It is responsible for the absorption of minerals and nutrients from the foods that we eat, finally, the colon is the main organ that manages the waste production and disposal in the body.

Several studies reveal within the United States alone, at least 90 percent of the diseases are directly or indirectly associated with unhealthy colon. Aside from these health issues, an unhealthy colon prevents our body to absorb the minerals and nutrients that we need.

But when we flush out the toxins from our body, everything improves — we feel and think better, our skin glows, and excess weight drops off.  If you want to get fit and healthy, colonics is one applicable way to do it.

Guided by the philosophy that holistic health is a harmonious combination of medical science, creativity and aesthetic sense The Zen Institute employs a process that is done with the use of the top of the line hydrotherapy machine and licensed doctors. It veers away with the pressures that necessitate the use of invasive and potentially traumatic shortcuts. Colonics is a process by which the wastes in the body are being removed through a cleansing procedure. A speculum tube (as tiny as .5cm) will be placed into the rectum of the patient, flushing out the wastes of the colon with warm water. This process is what we call as peristalsis, which pushes the feces out through the hose. These wastes include built-up toxins and excretory material that adheres to the walls of the colon.

Many factors are contributing to the accumulation of these wastes. The most common are stress, unhealthy lifestyle and diet, processed meat consumption, refined carbohydrates and sugar, low intake of water, high alcohol and caffeine consumption, and carbonated drinks. With Colonics, these wastes can be removed with continuous session, which maintains the nutrient absorption of the body and enhances the digestion.

The therapy usually lasts from 50 up to 60 minutes. During the therapy, the patient might experience abdominal pain. This is typical because the wastes from the body are being removed from the colon. In some cases, after a session, the patient will excrete the toxins to the body, making him want to go to the bathroom.

At Zen Institute, colonics is also utilized for weight management by giving the colon a coffee cocktail that can enhance faster metabolism but will also improve better absorption of the nutrients needed by the body. With this latest technique done at least twice a month, a person is guaranteed to lose 20lbs in 21 days. Some vegetable pills are prescribed to keep the ‘flora and fauna’ of the colon. Having regular colonics session is recommended for a healthier lifestyle. Also, drinking a lot of water while undergoing the session is needed to prevent dehydration.

Colonics should be employed at least four times a year to facilitate the accumulation of the toxins in the body, however, it can be done weekly specially by those who don’t eat much vegetables, drink alcohol a lot, and have unhealthy diet and lifestyle. A patient who has undergone colonics should maintain a good and healthy diet as this encourages the growth of good bacteria in the body. This will also boost the immune system.

Colonics also reduces constipation, which causes the slow digestive movement of the body. Because the procedure releases toxins, the body will be replenished because it regenerates energy. Those who have undergone this say that they have better blood circulation, peaceful night, and a boost in energy. Cleansing the colon also contributes to an individual’s well being and cognitive response. Weight lose can also be contributed to those taking the treatment because it enhances the metabolism of an individual.

Though colonics is now a popular way of detoxification, certain people should not have the procedure, including those who have intestinal problems such as Crohn’s Disease, blood vessel disease, congestive heart failure, heart disease, severe anemia, abdominal hernia, gastrointestinal cancer, intestinal tumors and ulcerative colitis. Those who have recent colon surgery should also consult a doctor before having the treatment.

Other than detoxification, colonics hydrotherapy is used for rejuvenation by replenishing the lost electrolytes and minerals being infused in the solution pumped through the tubes and being absorbed by the colon.

Get your Colonics program now at The Zen Institute, Ground Floor, Bonifacio Technology Center, 31st Street corner 2nd Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City (856-2027), with branches at 69 Scout Rallos St., Tomas Morato, Quezon City (441-1712; 412-2528), and at the St. Frances Cabrini Medical Center, Maharlika Highway, Barangay 2, Sto. Tomas, Batangas (+43) 778-4811).

For more information about The Zen Institute and Colonics, visit Like us on Facebook

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Wang Chung and Naked Eyes in Back2Back Throwback

Wang Chung and Naked Eyes will be having their first concert in the country entitled Back 2 Back Throwback on December 5, 2013 (Thursday) 7pm at the Grand Ballroom of Solaire Resort and Casino for the benefit of the recent super typhoon victims thru Oplan Damayan Yolanda and for the kids of Gabay sa Landas Foundation.

Naked Eyes is a British New Wave band that rose to prominence in the early 1980s and originally formed by two friends from Bath, England; Pete Bryne on vocals and Rob Fisher on keyboard. The duo is known largely for its four Top 40 singles. The first, a cover of the Burt Bacharach/Hal David standard "(There's) Always Something There to Remind Me" (Bacharach himself has cited the cover as a personal favorite). The band had subsequent hits with their own compositions, "Promises, Promises" (the 12” mix of which features vocals from Madonna), "When the Lights Go Out" and "(What) In the Name of Love” and a lot more.

Wang Chung is an English New Wave musical group formed in 1980. The name Wang Chung means "yellow bell" in Mandarin, and is the first note in the Chinese classical music scale. The duo is composed of Jack Hues (vocalist/guitarist) and Nick Feldman (bassist).
The group found their greatest success in the United States, with five Top 40 hits in the US, all charting between 1983 and 1987, including "Dance Hall Days"(No. 16 In the summer of 1984), "Everybody Have Fun Tonight" (No. 2 in 1986),"Let's Go!" (No.9 in 1987) and another hit that made waves here in our country, “Hypnotize Me”.

The crowd will also enjoy good music from the Master, DJ Jon Tupaz, who’ll resurrect 80’s retro hits and get everyone on the dance floor as he brings back the good old days. Proceeds of the event will be given to street kids from as well as to the victims of the super typhoon thru Oplan Damayan Yolanda. Gabay sa Landas Foundation aims to help and rebuild the lives of abandoned and street kids by teaching them the Christian core values. Oplan Damayan is JCI Senate Manila’s disaster and relief operations program to help flood and storm victims.

As a new generation of much younger JCI Senators took the helm of the organization in the second decade of the millennium, the Manila Jaycee Senate leadership poised to rejuvenate a JCI Senate chapter which has seen better days. It changed its official name to JCI Senate Manila, in conformance to Junior Chamber International’s global branding standards. It actively led in the JCI Senate leg of the 60th JCI Asia-Pacific Conference held in Manila in 2011 and hosted two major fellowships that saw more than 200 JCI Senators and Members demonstrate a solid camaraderie under a common bond that transcends four generations of JCI members.

Indeed, for more than three decades, JCI Senate Manila has taken the lead beyond being a mere social club. It has transformed into a strong organization which has been adjudged the “Most Outstanding JCI Senate Chapter in the Philippines” and its succession of Senate Presidents, as the “Most Outstanding JCI Senate Chapter President in the Philippines.” Under the direction of a slew of competent leaders, JCI Senate Manila will continue to be remembered for its contribution of distinguished vanguards as they grace the pages of Philippine history and society.

The 80’s Benefit Dance Concert is presented by Solaire Resort and Casino together with JCI Senate Manila in cooperation with DMC Phils., JCI Manila, JCI Urduja, Crocs, Dr Kong, Curtin University, Maverick, Honda, Isuzu, Acer, Guevarras, Excess Super Club, Outland Steakhouse, Buffest 101 International Cuisine, YakiMix, Super Fuels Inc., Guevarras, Vantage Razors, Paper Tree, Alpha Digital, Chefs Garb, Mang Inasal, Our Awesome Planet, World Music Room Family KTV, Malate Bayview Mansion, SM Cinema, Digi Post, Snack Time, E-Plus,. Media Partners are ABS-CBN, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Philippine Star, Manila Bulletin, Manila Standard, Business World, The Manila Times, Business Mirror, Discovery Channel, MYX, Sundance Channel, We TV, UNTV, Yes FM 101.1, 96.3 Easy Rock, Focalcast, 103.5 K Lite, Cross Over 105.5, 97.9 Home Radio, Star FM.

For ticket inquiries call SM Tickets at 470-222 or visit
Twitter: #b2bthrowback
Instagram: @back2backthrowback

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Makati After Dark: Run and Survive Hallowfest

Makati After Dark is the first in a series of grand outdoor events and street festivals scheduled for the coming year with the goal of bringing iconic musicians and artists who have yet to perform in the Philippines.

Halloween’s Biggest Street Festival

On October 31, Halloween night, hordes of the undead will rise and party with the living as J.R. Usi Presents—MAKATI AFTER DARK: RUN & SURVIVE HALLOWFEST—the grandest and most exciting Halloween party of the year.

With 3,000 zombies in a “FANTASY RUN” designed and directed to feel like a movie set, the run promises to give participants the most thrilling experience right at the heart of Makati’s financial business district.

Coinciding with the FANTASY RUN is an ALL-NIGHT STREET FESTIVAL adjacent to the race course featuring several TOP LOCAL BANDS, DJ’s, CAR SHOW, GTMACCON PINOY KOMIKS and COSPLAYERS CONVENTION, MERCATO CENTRALE FOOD FEST, and several other side pocket events to keep you up ‘til sunrise!

The Halloween Fest has already received the endorsement of Makati Mayor Junjun Binay as well as the Makati Tourism Office. “MAKATI AFTER DARK" is an event that can greatly help promote Makati as a top events destination that will attract more local and foreign visitors to the city.”

On his part, promoter J.R. Usi said, “Makati, has always been the preferred venue for pioneering events, whether its fashion, food, arts and culture—and even for some advocacy and political rallies—making it the perfect place to launch our “After Dark” series.”

Beyond the festivities, however, the underlying advocacy of Makati After Dark is to gather funds for the displaced families affected by the recent earthquake in Bohol and Cebu. “We’ve all seen the damage and how the calamity has affected its residents, especially the children that is why we will be donating part of the proceeds in the relief efforts, we hope this would greatly help them recover and return to their normal lives,” Usi explained.


Headlining the bands that will be performing at MAKATI AFTER DARK are CALLALILY, SANDWICH, 6CYCLEMIND, CHICOSCI, GRACENOTE, MOONSTAR 88, and several other surprise guests—each one promising to perform their biggest hits and newest songs.

In addition, a separate DJ setup will also be in place for those who’d rather dance the night away with other celebrity guests expected to make an appearance and join in the festivities.


Foodies are also in for a treat as MERCATO CENTRALE will be holding one of its biggest Food Bazaars at the venue and will offer party goers a wide array of choices that will satisfy all your cravings.

See coolest and sleekest cars in a special CAR SHOW that will showcase some of the most pimped out rides, exotic cars and numerous high-end custom cars.

Kicking off the festivities will be GTMACCON 3 Pre-Event where Pinoy Komiks artists and Pinoy Komiks Cosplayers can meet and interact with their fans.

Other side events include Zombie Movie Marathons, street performers such magicians, stilt-walkers, mimes, fire breathers, dancers, exciting LAN Games and many more.

Visit for more information and sign up either as part of the Human Survivors or be among Zombie Horde. Registration Fee of Php1,000 includes souvenir event shirt, race bib, life belt, swag bag with Halloween treats, event wrist tag, and access to Hallow Fest event grounds. Registration centers are located at TOBYS ARENA GLORIETTA 2, TOBYS ARENA SM MOA, TOBYS SPORTS SHANGRI-LA MALL, and RUNNR TRINOMA. For non-runners entrance to the Festival Grounds, concerts and Hallow Fest is only P500. Tickets are now available at Ticketworld Outlets and at the venue.

Like Follow them on Twitter @makatiafterdark and share your photos on Instagram: makatiafterdark and use the hashtag #makatiafterdark

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

How You Can Use Google Plus for Your Content Strategy

Google is not only a search engine but this company has now expanded its services and products that all help to encourage every online user to follow the trend and be active online. One of which is Google Plus. This application does not only pertain to social networking but a lot more. Add your content strategy to match this backbone and future of Google and you can achieve more success in marketing and promoting your brand. In this article, we will talk about how you can utilize Google Plus in your content strategy.

How You Can Use Google Plus for Your Content Strategy

1. Google Authorship

The web is all about content, and so it would be very helpful if you can consolidate all your published posts to one area. And this is where Google Authorship comes in. By adding a markup in your blog and connecting your Google Plus profile to your home page, you can enter the gateway to claim all content as your own in Google. 

Google Authorship will automatically link your Google Plus account to your blog or blogs and users will see a photo of your avatar next to the results in the search engine. You can market your content and at the same time your credibility as a writer and contributor of the content. Readers will view you more as an expert and anyone who searches for your name through Google can access your profile listed in the search hits.

2. Get More Followers

Your writing style should have an impact to your audiences. Instead of just giving information away, it’s better to encourage them to interact and engage with your content and the result is to gain more followers. With this strategy, you can build a larger network and sphere of folks with common interest strategically. 

When you have an organization of connections that you have formed great relationships with, you can improve your brand promotional power. The benefit here from Google Plus is that your circle is not the only one who can view your content but also their circles and the public. You will have more traffic to your site and you can boost your SEO.

3. Get Content Trending Through Hash Tags

Just like Twitter and Facebook, Google Plus also allows users to use hash tags for topics or keywords to trend. In your content strategy, research for the relevant keywords to be used and let your content be dominated with these keywords. Hash tags in Google Plus will make your content become search-friendly to users and search engine bots. 

Whenever you publish a post, make sure to also share the article to your Google Plus circles and the public with these hash tags, for your content to result in the engines and social media around the globe.

4. Write Long Posts

In some aspect of SEO, the number of words that make up one article is critical. Some experts believe that your content should at least have 400 words to be indexed by major search engines and Google particularly faster and higher. 

Aside from this, when posting to Google Plus, it will be an advantage to write a short summary of the gist of your shared article to keep readers attracted. Engage them with heavier how-to guidelines and provide related links for further reading. This makes up for a great resource and help your content be more noticeable. Make sure that your posts are making sense.

5. Use Ripples and Direct Connect

If you’re not aware, Google Plus has several features that connect you to a greater audience. Two of them are Ripples and Direct Connect. Ripples is a function that identify users of the social networking site who shared a post in public including the number of audiences. This is for you to know how many people have likely seen your post and then you can begin to identify the “ripple effect” of the trend.

On the other hand, Direct Connect works like the Facebook Like Box. This requires you to embed a code in between the <head> tags in your blog’s back end, so that visitors in your blog will be able to add you directly from Google search results. A pre-requisite for this to be enabled is to first link your Google Plus profile to your blog (as mentioned in the first tip above).


Google Plus now is becoming powerful than ever, in regard to content marketing strategies. Match them together by applying these basic tips for writers, aspiring writers and audience alike. Try and practice SEO and social media marketing techniques and you will see great results in return.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Top 10 Visa Misconceptions

The thought of working or studying away from your country of origin comes with tons of facts involving the processes, the laws or policies governing each country and certain misconceptions.

For certain visa application you can easily visit the embassy or a representative of the country you may want to visit or work to.  You may want to seek assistance from offices who does services of immigration or visa consultancy companies such as Global Visas.
Before you get scrupulous over some details in your visa application, let’s bust a few misconceptions about getting visas. 

1.  All EU states are governed under the Schengen agreement.

The Schengen zone includes 22 EU member states and covers more than 400 million people. All the EU states are included except Great Britain, Ireland, Cyprus, Romania and Bulgaria. Four European non-EU members - Iceland, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Norway - have acceded to the agreement.  

This however is the prevailing truth, once someone enters the Schengen zone, he or she can travel freely without visas, and without having passports checked at borders.

2.  All nationality needs to get Schengen Visas if they want to work or tour Europe.

North Americans, most South Americans, Australians and Japanese are admitted without a visa for three months (90 days).

3.   You can apply to any embassy as long as they give Schengen Visas. 

You need to be certain on the countries you are getting your passport stamped on.  

That is why, visa applications must be lodged at the Embassy/Consulate of the country of intended visit. If your plan is to visit several countries, visa application must be made at the Embassy/Consulate of the main destination country—meaning the length of stay in this destination is the longest. If the length of stay in each country is almost the same, apply at the country of first entry.

4.  If you have a valid US Visa, you can  reside in the U.S. for that entire period. 

The terms “visa” and “status” are often used loosely and even interchangeably.  However, failure to clearly understand the differences between these words can lead to unintended immigration consequences.  

Visa is your point of entry to the country, but does not determine you admissibility.

An alien’s status is classified under the category of admission (such as visitor, student, intra-company worker) and the duration of stay permitted.   Thus, your stay permission is dependent on the kind of status you have.

5.   UK and Ireland  is in Europe, thus you can freely cross border  coming from other European countries.   

Note that the UK and Ireland are not a part of the Schengen agreement.  Coming from other countries in Europe, you need to apply for Irish or UK Visa.

6.  Does that mean that UK and Ireland people need to get Schengen visa to go to other European countries?

While the UK and Ireland are not part of the Schengen area, their citizens can stay indefinitely in other EU countries, only needing paperwork if they want to work long-term or take up residency.

7.  What are the rules for working in France? I’ve heard that I have no hope of getting a work permit.

European Union citizens can legally work in France. Foreigners outside of the EU must do the following, in this order : find a job, obtain a work permit, obtain a visa de long séjour, go to France, and  apply for a carte de séjour.

8.  It is legal to work in the U.S. on a visitor's visa.

Visitor’s visas do not authorize employment in the U.S. In order to work, a person needs a working visa, called an H-1B visa or some other type of work authorization. H-1B working visas are for college graduates who will work in a job related to their college degree. This visa is valid for 3 years, with a 3-year extension, for a total of 6 years.

9. Getting a valid airline ticket booked while applying for a certain visa can help with the approval of visas.

No agencies have advised that a visa applicant make any travel plans, including purchase of air tickets, unless their visa was cleared by the consulate.

10.  Applying a Visa on your own is easy and cheaper.

Have you ever found dealing with the government easy? We bet not. All over the world citizens find government bureaucracies frustrating, annoying and insulting. It may have something to do with their virtual unaccountability, their lack of skill and experience or maybe, to be honest, they just do not care!

The processing is tedious and may require you to spend a lot of time waiting.  However, there are trusted agencies like Global Visas who can deal with this for you.  They can actually make them care for you having known the laws for that.  Global Visas can make applying Visas easy for you.

Global Visas has won for its clients the most difficult battles as far as visa facilitation is concerned, such as immigration to Australia. The expertise of the Global Visas team allows it to deliver the best quality service in the lodgment of spousal, fiancée, tourist and working visas. The company holds the distinct advantage of having personnel in destination countries as well as constant updating of visa regulations in these areas: the USA, Canada, UK and other parts of Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Asian territories. 

Visit for more information.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

How to Market Using WeChat and Make Friends

Developed by Tencent in China, WeChat (Chinese: 微信; or literally “micro message”) is now being seen as a grand marketing tool after Weibo. I've only learned about it after receiving a text notification from my boyfriend which was sort of an invite to join WeChat.

It was the first time I heard about the app and I thought it's a lot only like Skype, Viber, Voxer and Skype and other apps we regularly use for social networking via mobile phones.

Following through, we made a discussion about WeChat last Sunday. There I learned that WeChat can do more than chat (texting), voice messages (like walkie-talkie) and sending of pictures. It has other communication services such as the "Look Around" social plug-in and also the "Shaking" feature. Apparently, WeChat can be used for stalking other people within the vicinity of your location but it can also be used as a marketing tool. In this article, we will be tackling ways on how to market using WeChat and make friends.

How to Market Using WeChat and Make Friends

1. Look AroundUsers have the option to allow WeChat to detect their location. When this is approved, WeChat will determine the users online which are closest to yours and display a list. Offering flexibility, this app gives you sorting powers to see only Males, only Females or Both Male and Female. The default setting is that you'll see all including their usernames, profile pictures and how far they are from you (i.e. 200m, 500m, etc.).

You can then select the user you want to chat with. Basically, the Look Around feature compels users to increase interactivity and enjoy the convenience. Rather than calling leads to go to your physical shop for instance, you would know and invite online users who are nearby. See how a friendly gesture can go far and convert that "Hi" to a sale.

2. Shake

I recall testing Omegle, a similar social networking application, when I knew what Shake is capable of: talking to strangers randomly. Much like the Look Around feature, WeChat's Shake functions to connect two users who shook their device at the same time.

It's up to you then if you want to continue talking to this stranger or shake again to lose connection and form a new one. This is more proactive communication than the Look Around because you totally don't have any idea where the person is from and whether the person is male or female. What's clear is that both of you just want to expand contacts and talk to somebody.

I have not tried this yet but I think it would be fun!

3. Drift Bottle

Drift Bottle can be enabled from the Settings. From Plugins, select “Throw” to send out your voice or text message, and select “Pick” to pick a drift bottle from the sea. You may reply to it or throw it back to the sea. When you get a starfish, try again.

4. Scan QR Codes

I've seen QR codes everywhere and I've seen how they are used for efficient digital marketing. QR codes contain a lot of information that's very useful and interesting for marketers. WeChat automatically creates a QR code for your profile. Post it like this and spread it to your friends to expand your circle and invite people to know more about your brand.

5. Moment

Moments are like tweets on Twitter and shares on Facebook and Google Plus. These are updates made by you and your friends which appear in the WeChat "timeline." It's best to update moments quite often to make sure that your posts are always on top of everybody's timeline and therefore mind.

Wrap Up

WeChat now has a growing number of users. Last time I checked online, there were about 300 million out there already! Wow. WeChat for marketing and making friends can drive many opportunities. Download it for free now and try. :)

Are you ready to catch this trend?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

To Allow or Disallow Blog Commenting? Why Bloggers Should Turn Commenting On or Off

From the time I started blogging in WordPress, I have received so many spam comments. Still, I allow posting of comments from readers because I believe that comments form part of a post’s content. Whenever I visit posts or blogs, I always read comments to know more about the topic and learn how other people think about the article I’m viewing. Some people may not share entirely the same confidence in comments. Here are reasons why bloggers should turn comments on and off.

Why Bloggers Should Turn Comments On

You won’t know if you are sharing the right information that is appreciated by your readers until you allow them to comment. Commenting gives way to share thoughts and reflection and engaging with readers strengthens your relationship with them. Only when you form this connection that you communicate to the online world and feel not like you’re “talking only to a blackboard” and nobody in your class listens.

Given that you do not know all these visitors personally, you can still possibly know about their ideas and add on to these ideas to form another set of topics for your blog. Opening up comments means that you are open for both negative and positive reviews on your piece, and this is powerful in improving how you perceive things as well.

Another reason why bloggers should allow comments is resonance over reputation. Sure, one might receive too many bad feedbacks but this only means that the entire online population is that much concerned and affected by the post. This can then be treated as a two-edged sword. What’s critical is for the blogger to know how to manage his or her reputation by posting clarifications and sharing good intentions while retaining authenticity and self-care for touchstones.

Why Bloggers Should Turn Comments Off

To present the argument of other bloggers, accepting and allowing comments for them are only a waste of time, since they do not value the responses and judgments of their audience. What’s important is to declare they say about certain things and readers need not contribute to the conversation. This is mostly seen in websites of businesses which show information related to their products and services.

Business owners are afraid that they put energy in checking and reviewing all comments, while others find that hiring additional headcount such as the social media manager who’s responsible to control the comments and interact with readers don’t fit their budget and is just unnecessary.

So time management is one of the biggest problems and hindrances in comment publishing. The more comments come in, the more time is needed to evaluate whether to publish them or to trash them. This means that more time is required in the life of a blogger and less time to spend doing other more important things that impact others’ lives.

In addition, comments sometimes can be too surprisingly reactive and damaging on the part of other readers. These are those that don’t serve good for anyone but used only as a means to vent out anger and frustration. In this case, turning comments off is a good idea to reduce the negativity level in your site. At the end of the day, you don’t want to be more stressed after reading nasty comments that ruin your mood and suck up all the positive vibes in the room.

While readers may not post comments in your post, they can still impart their thoughts by sending you an email directly, mentioning you or sending a direct message on Twitter, and using other forms of social media to connect deeply. Receiving them through other arenas will confirm that you have dear readers who truly want to get the message sent across to you and not only to spam you with irrelevant and bad responses.

My Take

Comments on my blog are allowed but they are moderated to filter those containing spam links and irrelevant content. I have installed the Akismet plugin which automatically detects spam for me and puts them under review for approval. While the use of this plugin is not written in the Blog Code of Conduct, I feel that it’s somehow obligatory on the part of the blogger also to avoid penalties by major search engines like Google.

Your Take

As a blogger, what say you on this one? Do you turn your comments on or off? How is or isn’t that right for you?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Where Did the Term “Martial Arts” Originate?

I have been reading a lot of articles about martial arts and found that there’s no one that explains the reasons why “martial arts” is called “martial arts” at great length. This post aims to fill that and make everyone in the society understand where the term “martial arts” originated in the first place.

Literal Meaning from the Dictionary

By definition, “martial" means “war or fighting,” “military,” or “warfare.” The ultimate etymology of the word comes from the Roman god of war, Mars. On the other hand, "art" refers to"skill" or "craft."  So when you put “martial” and “arts” together, they refer to “the art of warfare.”

Literal Meaning Suggested by the West

Wikipedia has it that “martial arts” represent Western swordsmanship as far back as the 1550s. Many countries and regions have fighting styles that are unique and effective, but martial arts remain to be seen to have oriental nature.

Literal Meaning Suggested by the East

Another claim was made by Etymonline which said that "martial arts" first appeared as a translation of "bujutsu"  in 1933. This word means "military science"  in Japanese and is comparable to the more philosophically-toned term, "budo," which means "the way of war." With the mix of Chinese and Japanese languages, we can get the context – “wu” in “wushu” and “bu” in “bujutsu” equate to “martial” and “shu” in “wushu” and “jutsu” in “bujutsu” both mean “arts” or “skills.”

East Meets West

When the West came in contact with the Asian traditions, 'martial arts' was a natural blanket term to refer to all the fighting arts, Eastern and Western, but in the last hundred years or so, the traditional Western fighting arts (boxing, fencing, horseback riding, wrestling, marching) have evolved into sports, or died out which is why the term is used more often to refer to the Asian traditions.

Modern Meaning?

In addition to what has been said here, remember that many terms are often in use long before they are ever written in historical documents or records, so it can be very difficult to be sure of who first used it, or what it meant.  Also, word meanings often change over time, or are misused so often, the incorrect usage becomes the common understanding.  

Bonus Question: 
Can Martial Arts Be Used for Self-defense?

A lot of people are asking me whether wushu, the martial arts I perform, can be used for battle or real war. My answer has been consistent: mostly no but it can be. Particularly in the Philippines where there are many robbers and bad-spirited people on the streets, many are influenced to be part of gangs and cause threats to others. They fight and harass citizens with knives and some even with guns. 

In this case, even if one is equipped with skills in martial arts, the best way is to scream and run far away. Street fighting is not really done by majority of martial artists but only those recognized masters who can use their properly trained bodies to respond to urgent situations like this in the public.

Friday, May 17, 2013

How to Overcome Resistance as a Result of Change

In the business arena, whether or not change is planned or forced upon an organization, companies and staff must adapt to changes smoothly to remain viable, as there will always be resistance. Managing employee resistance to change is the very important part of the management practices and organizational behavior.

In a nutshell, organizational change can generate skepticism and resistance in employees, making it sometimes even impossible to implement. In this post, we will talk about how to overcome resistance as a result of change.

Change approaches to deal with resistance to change:

1. Educate and communicate.

When information is not properly handed over and there is deficiency in the interpretation on the changes, employees will be hesitant to follow as they don’t have enough awareness on what to do next or how to react. There would be lack of enthusiasm therefore bringing about resistance. Hence, there must be up-front communication and education to guide them in appreciating the logic in the change effort. Additionally, this will reduce unfounded rumors on the effects of change in the organization.

2. Encourage and make staff be involved and enable them to participate in making the change.

When staffs share their ideas for example in the new technology device the company is buying to eliminate much manual labor and improve operational efficiency, they won’t be worried that their jobs would be replaced and be deemed useless. Rather, their self-esteem may be heightened since they can feel proud that they are partly contributors to the good impact the new innovation will bring to the organization.

3. Support and facilitate staff in their work toward the change.

Naturally, people will exhibit some resistance at first but it’s the manager’s responsibility to help workers deal with fear and anxiety during the transition period. The basis of resistance to change is likely to be the perception that there some form of detrimental effect occasioned by the change in the organization. This approach is concerned with provision of special training and counseling.

4. Negotiate and agree.

The idea is that managers can combat resistance by offering incentives to employees not to resist change. Line managers are prime agents in helping employees to lower their defenses. They should be able to address individual concerns employees might have about job security, wages and loss of control after the change.

5. Manipulate and co-opt employees who resist the change.

Co-option involves the patronizing gesture in bringing a person into a change management planning group for the sake of appearances rather than their substantive contribution. This often involves selecting leaders of the resisters to participate in the change effort. These leaders can be given a symbolic role in decision making without threatening the change effort. Still, if these leaders feel they are being tricked they are likely to push resistance even further than if they were never included in the change effort leadership.

Wrap Up

We have just learned five ways on how to overcome resistance as a result of change. To explicit and implicit coercion, whereby managers can explicitly or implicitly enforce employees to accept change by making clear that resisting change can lead to losing their jobs, firing them, transferring them to other organizations or not promoting them even if they deserve it.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

How Does Organizational Culture Change – With Case Study and Clear Illustration

A company’s culture is an amalgam of shared history, explicit values and beliefs, and common attitudes and behaviors. In this article, we will know how an organization culture changes and more things about “culture,” “organization,” and “change” plus a case study on Enghouse Systems Ltd. to demonstrate how the company CEO turned the culture to another direction for the better.

3 Levels of Organizational Cultures

Organizational cultures exist on three levels.

First, on the surface level, are the reflections of an organization’s culture that can be seen, heard, or observed, such as symbolic artifacts (e.g., dress codes and office layouts, and workers’ and managers’ behaviors).  Change programs can involve creating a culture (in new companies or those built through multiple acquisitions), combining cultures (in mergers or acquisitions of large companies), or reinforcing cultures. Understanding that all companies have a cultural center is often an effective way to jump-start culture change.

Next, just below the surface, are the values and beliefs expressed by people in the company. You can’t see these, but by listening carefully to what people say and how decisions are made or explained, those values and beliefs become clear. 

Once the culture is understood, it should be addressed as thoroughly as any other area in a change program. Leaders should be explicit about the culture and underlying behaviors that will best support the new way of doing business, and find opportunities to model and reward those behaviors. This requires developing a baseline, defining an explicit end-state or desired culture, and devising detailed plans to make the transition.

Finally, unconsciously held assumptions and beliefs are buried deep below the surface. These are the unwritten views and rules that are so strongly held and so widely shared that they are rarely discussed or even thought about unless someone attempts to change them or unknowingly violates them. These beliefs are difficult to change, so most managers focus on the parts of the organizational culture they can control such as observable surface-level items: workers’ behaviors and symbolic artifacts, and expressed values and beliefs, which can be influenced through employee selection.

How to Change the Culture of an Organization: Case Study of Enghouse Systems Ltd.

To change the culture, improvised and new elements must fit together as a mutually reinforcing system and changing minds will need to be put in play. This should start from the top management then cascade to every member of the organization with the use of leadership and change management tools, such as role definitions, measurement and control systems.

For example, Claudette MacKay-Lassonde, Chairman, President and CEO of Enghouse Systems Ltd. (a small software and services company located in Markham, Ontario), wanted to transform the corporate culture as she observed that employees lacked productivity and they have been showing disinterest in their work.

The company thus experienced loss of profits. In spite of having a good product line and services in developing software for businesses, Enghouse Systems Ltd. suffered a $3.2 million loss and was threatened to hit bankruptcy in 1994. The CEO reinforced the company’s vision and mission, tightened financial controls, changed the office design and layout, changed dress codes, and added benefits and perks for employees. Three years later, Enghouse turn to a profit.

Specifically, she initially conducted surveys and interviews on staff members and found that their ability to propose and implement change in the company was low. The interviews suggested that marginal regard for input had caused the staff to become discouraged and had reduced motivation for process improvements.

Although Enghouse before the change in culture espoused teamwork as a core value, feedback from the management indicated a low level of trust among managers resulting to lack of collaboration among the leaders. The company was viewed as focused on the past and present while lacking a strategic plan for the future.

With this, she imparted the road map of the company to responsive stakeholders to have a strategic direction, continuously drive enablers of teams and drew of full capabilities of the talented staff, introduced radical transparency, communicated horizontally in conversations and stories.

She fueled executives in the organization to express not only verbal support but also lead the change by changing their own behaviors. In addition, members of the organization were taught what is expected of them, and they learned how to actually practice the new behaviors when they were defined.

Training has been very useful in both setting expectations and imparting new behaviors. Shifting a culture that has to some extent moved away from the values established by its founder is always a challenge. It requires time but it can be done if there’s commitment, right planning and proper execution.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Link Between Wushu and Lion Dance as Part of Chinese Traditions

In today’s world, we often see lion dances not only in mainland China but also in countries and societies where Chinese people crowd. In Asia, there are the likes of Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines where many Chinese and also locals welcome lion dancing in the modern society during festivities and other occasions. Mostly Chinese lion dancing is performed during the Chinese New Year (Lunar New Year), opening of a business, weddings, birthday celebrations and festivals. Lion dance performers are invited to these occasions since the lion as a myth is believed to bring hope for prosperity, good luck and wisdom.

With regard to long-lived traditions, lion dancing is an important and rather a huge part of Chinese martial arts. In the older days, this form of art is a manner of testing how skilled a wushu school is. Why? This is where the link between “wushu” and “lion dances” enters the picture. 

Wushu and Lion Dance as Part of Chinese Traditions

In the light of Chinese culture and tradition, lion dancing is a way to proliferate the teaching of martial arts to various members of ethnic communities. This art is utilized to spread the true essence of martial arts concerning spiritual, mental and physical elements.

It is said that a background in wushu is a pre-requisite in order for one to gracefully imitate the movements of the lion. There is an old saying that goes “If your lion dance performance is good, your wushu skill should be equally good or even better.” So before practicing lion dance, one must first know wushu and have it as kung fu (skill) for performers to gain strength and flexibility. So it’s no wonder why there are many schools and federations now which are composed with members who are both proficient in wushu and lion dance.

Wushu and Lion Dance for Entertainment

Lion dances are formed from wushu stances and movements that demonstrate fighting poses and agility. Wushu practitioners do not commonly engage and get themselves to actual fights much like lion dancers. These acts they make are only for show and entertainment. While a lion dance is composed of a lion manned by two people (as the lion head and the lion tail), wushu can be performed individually or as a group.

Notes on Lion Dances

Lion dance competitions are arranged with rivaling groups (schools, organizations and other institutions) to see which one perform best with honor and discipline.

Routines are learned and performed as difficulty increases with skill, including multitude of techniques like dancing on 12 foot poles, drumming and tapping on other percussion instruments for the beat of the dance and use of props in the attempt to make the lion more life-like.

Notes on Wushu

If you watch the movies of Jet Li, Jacky Chan, Donnie Yen, Wu Jing and other actors which play and feature martial arts as sports, then that gives you a picture of what wushu is.

Wushu is a Chinese martial arts that has a history of over two thousand years. Originating from China, this Chinese boxing style is most popularized as “kung fu.” But “kung fu” and “wushu” are not the same or do not mean the same thing. When translated, “kung fu” means “hard work” or “effort,” and “wushu” is the act of martial arts.

There are many techniques in wushu that are used for competitions, self-defense, health and mental discipline. While it’s for stage and entertainment, its focus is on development of the internal energy to be used for combat. Modern forms embrace more acrobatic-based techniques than traditional ones, but both of these movements can be used to boost the visual appeal of lion dance.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

How Do You Know When You Have to Stop Eating?

So how do you know when you have to stop eating? Let me put it in another form: How do you choose how much food you eat?

The answer is not easy as you think. People eat not only when they are hungry as the decision or the act to eat is affected by emotions as well. You tend to binge when you're depressed or totally starve yourself during those bad days.

Nope, you don't stop when you're full, especially when you are tempted to try all the different dishes at a high-class buffet hotel or restaurant. So think about it: when can you really say that you have to stop eating in spite of seeing a bag of potato chips, marshmallows and M&M's luring you to eat like there's no tomorrow?

In this post, we will decipher some of the factors that interpose with our eating habits.

1. Food Descriptions

Often when you browse through the menu, you won't immediately know the taste of the food but you still order ones with attractive descriptions that you feel would suit your taste. Food labels matter a lot as they capture your imagination. If there are two bowls of soup which resemble each other appearance-wise and taste-wise, the next thing that will break the tie is the description. If Restaurant A would name it "Oh-so Soup-ah Creamy Spinach Puree" and Restaurant B would name it "Cream of Spinach Soup Puree," you would most likely go for the first and try to finish it up to the last spoonful.

2. Food Packaging Size

You might not be aware of it but the size of the food package manipulates your eating habits. Finishing a big bag of nuts alone would probably drive you nuts and you will have to stop eating and share it to someone else when you think you have enough (like a third or half of it). To draw a distinction, finishing smaller packages of the same item will make you feel less guilty, even if you have eaten the same amount. Yes?

3. Plate Presentation / Dishware

Eat-all-you-can restaurants which provide diners with bigger plates might not have known the psychology behind eating based on food presentation. I have observed time and again that food easily runs out in the warmers when customers in the buffet use big plates instead of smaller ones. When you have a big plate, you will tend to place more food without considering if you can really finish them all afterwards. The idea becomes "take-all-you-can" but it should not be, if your goal is to eat more healthily.

The same way goes for glasses. Short and wide glasses often are poured with more contents than long and narrow ones. But people do drink up short and wide glasses easily, thinking that they have drunk less. Haven't you noticed?

4. Price of the Food

In most cases, people think they have to get their food be worth to the last cent. But just because the food is pricey does not mean you have to bloat yourself and finish everything you have ordered in one seating. If you can't take it anymore, there's always an option to pack the leftovers home.

Friday, February 15, 2013

How To Avoid Bad Credit

As people say all the time, "Prevention is better than cure." When you don't have a poor credit rating, the best strategy is stay out of trouble. In this article, we will discuss tips on how to avoid bad credit.

3 Tips to Avoid Bad Credit

1. Pay Credits on Time

As if this can't be repeated enough, making regular and timely payments is key to preventing yourself from having a bad credit score. Timely payments surprisingly account to up to 35 percent of your credit score.

If you want to cancel out your previous issues related to late payments and inability to pay, then paying on time is a must.

2. Pay

Worse than late payments is not paying at all. This is an a-ha! moment for most people. So you should make sure that all your credit accounts are managed and organized well. Do not miss payment due dates and don't skip any payment.

If you are unable to produce the money intended to clear off the debt, you can call your creditors to inform them in advance. They may offer you consideration and understand your reason.

3. Have a Positive Maintaining Balance in Your Bank Account

When creditors learn that you are bankrupt, they will have you fill in the consequences. Bankruptcy in general indicates that you don't have the funds to pay for your loans. So you cannot have any sweet escape this time.

If you file and declare your bankruptcy, banks and creditors will be alerted and keep this in their records and your credit report for eight to 10 years. Yup, it's really this long. This implies that even if you have survived through this painful no-money stage after a few years, applying for loans will be more difficult with poor history.

End Notes

Having credits is like passing an exam paper. You cannot submit your paper late to your teacher in class; moreover, you cannot NOT pass your paper forward. Also, you cannot pass the paper without having any answers to bank in for points. Your credit performance is very substantial as an issue in deciding for your chance of approval (or denial) in credit applications. Avoiding bad credit is a must. If you want, you can include it as part of your New Year's resolutions. :-)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

How to Go Through Car Insurance Application Online

With the Internet, you can ditch long queues and the hassle of going to the physical car insurance company to get your vehicle insured. Now you can quote for prices and submit your application forms online. In this page, we are going to discuss the basic steps of online car insurance application.

1. Explore the car insurance company's website.

The first step is to pump all the juice you can get from the corporate website of the car insurance company. Compare the rates of as many companies as there are available. You can also request for quotations and compare them side by side online. If contents on their website are not enough, fill out a contact form to ask further questions.

2. Note your zip code.

Part of the driver's information that is vital in the application process is your zip code. Apparently, the zip code is one of the factors considered in the cost of the car insurance. Certain areas in the neighborhood are known to have higher crime rates. If you happen to live in one of these areas, your car insurance quote will tend to be more expensive.

3. Provide your car's information.

Companies require the following car specifics and information: the make, body style, model of the vehicle, and the manufacturing year of the automobile. This is for them to get a far more accurate quotation for the car insurance plan.

If your car to be insured is not brand new and has been used for six and more months, the car insurance company will also asked for the mileage used, the frequency of use and the purchase date as well.

4. Provide a short family background.

Some car insurance companies need to learn about personal household information such as the number of people living in your house and other insured belongings. This is because some insurance plans not only cover for the damage occurred to your automobile but also the medical expenses. 

For this, you can go with MedPay coverage for the medical procedures as a result of the accident. You can also get advice if there are offered services of the auto insurance company to help you pay out for rented vehicles in case your vehicle is badly damaged.

5. Check up on your driving history.

The last basic thing they will check on is your driving history. How many times have you been into a car accident? Did you have any insurance plan in the past? What's the running history of your traffic violations? Once they have completed investigation on your driving records, auto insurance companies can send you the quote instantly and you will just have to consult with one of their agents to get more information and finalize the deal.

End Notes

Applying for a car insurance plan online for quotations is a lot easier and almost hassle-free. In most countries now, without any car insurance, you won't be allowed to use your car legally. So the best move is to get the car insurance for the cheapest rates and best package with good benefits.

Monday, February 11, 2013

How Beginners in the Real Estate Business Can Be Successful

Admittedly, the topic "real estate" used to really bore me before. But after learning more of the opportunities in store for investors in the real estate business, this domain had started to get my attention.

Now I know that real estate is one of the most promising places to invest money in, although securing a good real estate investment that brings profits sure requires deep understanding and knowledge. In this article, we will go through tips on how to find one that will bring profits.

Real Estate Investment for Dummies

1. Write Your Goals

Whenever you are and whatever you do, especially if you're the new kid on the block, you have to set goals to have something to work for. In the real estate business, you should not stay contented with your emotion as the drivers of your success. Rather, you should have pre-defined goals with timeline, roadmap and descriptions in an outline.

This goal list will make up to a plan that will also have to cover the risks and the mitigation tactics to recover from losses (in case) in the future.

2. Build a TEAM

Individual efforts may not count much if you are targeting close goals to the destination you aspire to land. The key is to build a team of people with different expertise in real estate such as the real estate agents and brokers, bankers, private lenders, affiliates, property managers, lawyers, accountants, property inspectors, contractors and real estate appraisers. This team will further add on to your knowledge about the legal protection, tax structure, substantial investment types, property management, and development of your resources.

3. Know the Trends in Real Estate

It is not enough to talk to brokers and real estate marketers and then decide which to choose and start on your real estate investment. You should be very critical in actually selecting the areas, neighborhood, structure and everything about the assets you will be investing in. Knowing the trends in the real estate market entails diligence and respective understanding on the market value of typical estates in different locations, expenses and cash flows for your intended business.

4. Hone your marketing skills.

Investing in the real estate business does not work in two steps: Buy and Sell. It hugely relies on how you market for the selling or renting out of the resource. Excelling in both the marketing and sales fields are important to capture customers and even leads. If you don't see yourself as a good marketer, maybe you can attend trainings and seminars before deciding to hire agents to work for you.

End Notes

Investing in the right real estate is marked with a learning curve. It does not work only by luck.You have to learn the techniques firsthand to fulfill your requirements. Failing at the start is quite an enriching experience and it might be beneficial for you to learn from mistakes. You can start by reading more resources about real estate (both historical, current and projections), to get on your toes for the perfect deal.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Top 5 Common Credit Card Mistakes

Applying for a credit card commonly requires easy steps: submission of an accomplished application form, ID and another document such as the certificate of employment or copy of the income tax return for the past two years.

However, maintaining credit card usage and handling debt are not as easy as they sound. Rather, they are nerve-wracking as much as they are comforting. Why comforting? Of course, you get both the luxury and privilege of borrowing money from a trusted institution and pay it later to continue your lifestyle.

In this article, we will talk about the common credit card mistakes that you should avoid and actions you can do to rectify them:

1. Not understanding the implications of late payments

If there are outstanding credits due in your balance, don't intend to play with fire and pay them right away. Late payments will incur you bad credit score and negative credit rating in your records. You will also need to pay some late payment charges.

If you admit that you're a bit forgetful in paying for the bill, you can sign up for an automatic payment facility that gets money from your account and automatically pays for your credit card balance.

2. Not knowing the date when credit card payment is due

You may be confused on the dates shown in your credit card bill. If you're unsure, check with the credit card company on the details of the bill. Ask for help when necessary and don't just make your own assumptions.

In general, the due date is not the deadline for sending your payment; it is when the merchant expects the receipt of the money. If you don't deliver payment on that deadline, you will experience the consequences of a late payment. A good practice is to make payments in advance. It's not hard to mark your calendars with reminders, right? :-)

3. Collecting many credit cards that results to difficulty in tracking credit card details

Some people just want to be collectors of credit cards to stuck in their wallets. These credit cards look good when piled up? I don't know. What I do know is that there are more problems in terms of tracking down the credit card details monthly such as the interest rates, balances and payment due dates.

It's okay if you have five and more credit cards as long as you can still handle them all efficiently. But if you can't, just stick with one or two that you can manage.

4. Compromising on credit cards with higher interest rates for loyalty points

It is common for credit card companies to offer promotions such as the loyalty program where you have to buy stuff to earn points and points can be converted to vouchers or gift certificates to make a purchase. Another one of the most used tactics is the collection of miles for a flight. This is also a point system where you have to earn miles that can be converted to the number of kilometers you can travel across the globe with their partner airline company.

You can ride on these promotions and use your credit card for points. But note that these cards may be the ones which have additional interest rates in the transactions. The tendency is to pay up more. In the end, you are only fooled to spend and spend extra using the credit card. It could be better if you withdraw cash from the ATM and use cash, or use a debit card to swipe for your purchases.

5. Not reading the terms and conditions

You may be signing up already for the agreement that you will be put to a death sentence without you knowing! Never sign up the terms and conditions of the credit card application without reading and understanding them in full context.

End Notes

Applying and using your credit card does not make you financially free or financially independent. On the contrary, it requires you to be more careful on your expenses. You have to be sure to clear off your debts and remember always to pay in a timely fashion.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Advantages And Disadvantages of Borrowing Credit

Indeed, when we are dire in need of a lifeline and we don't know where to get money to pay our due expenses, borrowing credit is the best way to solve our problem. However, as everything has a positive and a darker side, borrowing credit is no exemption.

Benefits of Borrowing Credit (a. k. a. Getting Money That is Not Your Own)

1. Spend Whenever and Wherever

You don't have the physical money in your wallet, in your bag or even in your bank account. But you have the purchasing power to buy anything you desire. This can be anything--TV, gadgets, refrigerator, an entire new wardrobe, a car, a house! You can even loan money to start your dream business.

2. Safety Not Carrying Cash

The advantages of using a credit card is overrated. For one, it's safe (you don't need to bother about robbers who will steal your cash or handbag). You can terminate the credit card at once with just a call reporting the incident to the bank or credit card institution. You will only carry one small and thin plastic card!

3. More Income

More income will come to your hands if you know how to circulate and make more money by investing in some profitable business. With a workable strategy, you can earn more than your active income supplied by your day job. For instance, you can borrow credit and build a small store near your house. Sell snacks to your neighbors and generate enough money to pay your debt and get more in return.

Cons of Borrowing Credit

1. Supporting Your Expenditure

Credit as a supporter of your expenses can be a good thing. But this is also a double-edged sword. Some people (and I hope it's not you) cannot resist the temptation to maximize their credit limit and NOT pay the borrowed amount afterwards.

Worse is when the credit limit is reached in one credit card, they start to use another credit card and spend as much as they want--without thinking about the consequences: lowered credit ratings and punctured credit report.

2. Interests Incurred in the Balance

When you are not paying the due amount of credits for a specified and agreed term period, you will be charged with interests. And further, these interests will grow while you are not clearing the debts out. More costs are added to your expenditure that you should not be paying for.

3. Change in Interest Rates

Be sure to read the credit card terms and agreement before signing on the dot. There are some credit card companies which impose the right to change your credit card limit and respective interest rates at their own discretion. When such thing happens, they will send you a notification mail to your address. Change in interest rates is not a good sign as it will be shown in your credit report that you are a risky borrower. Oftentimes, this is marked when there are lots of late payment and defaulted repayment.

Key Takeaway

Ultimately, the best advice you can take away is to use your credit card only when REALLY necessary. Else, credit cards would be contributor of major trouble than good support. If you enjoy this article, visit my other blog to read for more posts related to credit and other financial advice.

Monday, February 4, 2013

What is the Best Stock Market Capitalization to Include in Your Portfolio?

Companies can make their stocks go out listed for public trading. This is when they enter the stock market. But how do they determine the value of their stocks? This is through limits and identification of the capitalization.

In this article, we will focus the discussion on the different stock market capitalization. Which one among them are best to include in your stocks portfolio?

Definition of Stock Market Capitalization

Market Capitalization, or "market caps," is the total value of the company's shares. This value indicates an estimate of the company's worth in the market. To go for standard computation, you can determine the market capitalization of a company by multiplying the number of its issued outstanding shares and the company's net asset value. So gotta consult your accounting department here to check your books.

If you are not decided to list your company for the stock market, it is also ideal to know about your market capitalization. This is because business investors and financial analysts often assess your company's stock value not on your total sales and assets but on your stock market capitalization.

Capitalization Limits

Now that you are aware of how the capitalization value is derived, the next step is to define the category of your caps.

Each stock market index provides its own limitations to categorize whether your company's stock market capitalization fall on large, mid or small cap. But generally, market capitalization work in the percentile system (in dollar values) to make them standard across different regions in the world.

Large Caps, Mid Caps and Small Caps

When there's economic hiatus and political turmoil, the stock market does not get away with being affected. Volatility is much considered in the stock market.

Guess which among the large, middle and small caps is least volatile. If you think it's the small caps, you guessed it right!

Small Caps Stocks

Since the range of small cap companies' market value only spans from $1B and below, they have very high risks for investment. But they also have the most potential for growth, because it's like a "baby." Small cap companies are usually those which are newly established or those which have just suffered from a company loss.

Mostly, stock market investors who would include small caps in their portfolio are adventurous and high risk-takers. They are people who have a large appetite for large profits and are not afraid to lose money at the same time.

Large Caps Stocks

When the country is in economic crisis, it is best to buy stocks which are of large capitalization. These are the companies which have market value of more than $10B. Yes, every unit of stock is really expensive. But think of earning profits from large caps stocks in a long term view. They can be good already for your retirement plan.

Mid Caps Stocks

Half way in between small and large, we have the mid caps stocks which encompass company market value between $1B and $10B. Most investors own stocks that are in this market segment. Companies that have mid caps stocks have less probability of getting sunk; they also have medium probability of soaring high. This is just a safe place and best for those who want to monitor the stock market trends regularly.

The Verdict

Depending on your investment capability and financial goals, you may invest in either one or all these market capitalization. I also suggest to strike a balance of three three stock market caps to maximize the chance of being profitable and minimize risks.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Why is Your Credit Score Dropping?

Sadly, your credit standing may step down one level without known reason. This can be acceptable if the credit score is having only small dips. There would not be a big difference as compared to the one previously checked. However, when the sudden drops are like earth-shattering with a magnitude of six, you have the right to worry. The BIG question is, "why is your credit score dropping?"

Is there something wrong with the computation and verification of your credit score? In this article, we will try to give you clarity on this.

Common Reasons Why credit Scores Drop

1. Poor Payment History Connected

Your good credit points might be lost because of your payment history which contributes to 35% of your credit score. Credit bureaus consider the last 12 months of your payment history in calculating for your credit score.

If you have incurred any missed payment toward a loan, credit agencies will make your score drop. Another is when you send your payment late for your credit call bills and when you had a large expenditure that ate up your credit limit. This latter one may sound unfair but it's true. Credit agencies eye on your purchases just before you pay up for all of them.

2. Opening of a New Financial Account

The second cause of a lowered credit score is the act of applying for a new financial account. This one is worth 10% of your credit score. So closing your bank account which had bank credit history and opening up a new one will not make your name as fresh and good as you wish it will be.

This also holds true when you have discontinued your use of a credit card or when you maintain an account with no or minimal balance.

3. Outstanding Credits

Even if you are paying your debts consistently to creditors, your credit score is still punished by the outstanding credits you own. In the credit scoring system, the outstanding credits make up 55%. That's a considerably big percentage share right there.

To balance it off, you can have a shorter time for credit as length or duration of the credit accounts for 15% of the calculation. Moreover, you have to have lesser amount of money being credit. This accounts for the remaining 10% of the whole.

End Notes

Before you get an 'O' on your mouth for being caught surprised with learning about a low credit score, find out if these three reasons are applicable to your case. If any of them is encountered, you can continue trusting the credit score system for its calculation. You can also ask the credit bureau to show you recorded proof of faults you've made that brought to the low credit score.

Once the reasons are identified, you can either keep silent about it and then move on improving your credit score in the future. Else, don't be shy or afraid to escalate the issues or errors up to their attention. Miscalculation of your credit score (and anyone else's) should not be ignored. Find ways to dispute the errors and have the correct scoring be reflected on your profile. Whatever the case is, you must aim for a credit-worthy score.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

TRUTHS and MYTHS About Insurance Policies

Let's face it: Life is uncertain. So both the young and old have equal chance of not making it to the next second. We cannot be too much in control; the catch in life is that we don't know when we are breathing on our last breath.

That's sad, yes? Now insurance comes in the way. Now there are many types of insurance.

Let's be clear. I'm not selling insurance plans here. But I want to highlight the importance of having insurance plans. For once in your life, purchasing insurance plans can be your best decision yet.

When signing up for a plan though, you may be find it hard to decide which to choose as there are many plans and policies offered to you. If you are not familiar with them, you cannot solely trust the insurance brokers for what they are promoting.

Of course, these agents will tend to market their own life insurance policies. With this, you are still uncertain on the guarantees that you will get the best insurance policies that fit you.

In this article, we will talk about the most common misconceptions on insurance conditions and claims. Know the truth and myths about insurance policies before it's late:

1. MYTH: The cost of life insurance is seven times the present income of the person.
TRUTH: In calculating for the final life insurance amount, insurance companies would have different baselines. Actually, the total amount of the insurance premium would vary accordingly to your needs and also the dependents that will be supported when the insurance is utilized. So before concluding the amount to pay, a good rule of thumb is to find all the factors leading to the insurance amount and ask your local legal sector for advice.

2. MYTH: Life insurance policies cover ALL bills and funeral charges after the death of the owner of the insurance.
TRUTH: This is only true to those insurance policies which actually have that statement. Unless declared or explicitly written, confirm about this portion in the life insurance policies and know the coverage of your protection. Also consider the expenses of your dependents after in case of the eventuality.

3. MYTH: All car damages will all be taken care of when you have an auto insurance plan.
TRUTH: You can only get reimbursed if you have shown proof of the damage and you can receive as much insurance money as quoted or estimated by the car insurance company. So your takeaways here are to take a picture or video of the damages and the actual scenario and be as honest as possible. If they found that you are lying at some point, your insurance claim will be denied and this will also impact your policy rate.

4. MYTH: All home damages will all be taken care of when you have a home insurance plan.
TRUTH: Just like the car insurance, you will not have a guarantee that the insurance company will be held responsible in paying out for all the costs of the damage in your house.
First thing to do after the damage has been done is to take a picture of the mess and immediately report it to the insurance company. Explaining the actual losses vividly will also help your insurer get a more accurate approximation of the insurance claim for the damage.

After the insurance company has been notified, you can then make your own repairs or have them fixed by other teams. However, do make sure to track all your expenses by collecting receipts to show to the insurer. These expenses should be included as part of the indemnification.

On another side, it's better if you can wait unti the insurer gets to your home and see the damages through his own eyes. Taking photos is okay, but looking at how disastrous the damage is in reality is evidently way better.

5. MYTH: You can get as much benefits as stated in the coverage, as needed with your insurance plan when emergency comes.
TRUTH: In normal scenario, the above statement applies as a truth. However, there may be special cases where insurers suspends and adjusts the insurance policies you have signed up on. For example, they have an early detection that horrible floods will visit your area. If they are cruel, they will take this advance warning as a signal to take out some passages in the insurance policy to their advantage. To avoid such instance, review the policy adjustments related to disasters and clarify them with the insurance company.

End Notes

Just like life, signing up for an insurance policy has its own uncertainties. To have proper knowledge on these policies, take the time to carefully review all terms and conditions of your insurance plan. It's good to be a doubting Thomas so you can have insurance agents or the company reveal all hidden statements that could backfire you in the future.

Monday, January 28, 2013

How to Increase the Value of Your House Property

Perhaps you know by now that while value of cars and other fixed assets depreciate, the value of your housing properties appreciates with time. Yup, you can buy several lots today and sell them after x number of years. You can earn profits, if you know how real estate business and investments work. 

Promoting real estate is not difficult. It is done by carefully knowing how to find the best circle of people to sell it to and then knowing how to get the best property value out of your financial commitment. Internally, you can make prospective customers think about it already as their own house, office and other personal or commercial space. 

In this article, we will be talking about the basics of increasing the value of your house property.

Every day, we are into marketing ourselves in facing many different people and circumstances in life. With this, we know that first impressions are usually the ones that last. 

Here are five tips to improve your space:

1. Renovate! You don't have to go crazy on any particular style. Often you can build improvements first in your space by changing or renewing the wall paint and turn the flooring surfaces to contemporary ones. This is to make sure you have freshen up unclean or foul-smelling areas as well.

2. Improve the Exterior Look of Your Space. First opinions are usually the long lasting ones. You can incrementally improve the appearance of your space from the outside by: having a small patio outside of the house, having a lawn or garden area with chairs for relaxation, cleaning windows and doors and the like. You can even adhere to exterior walls which are colored white, off-white and other rather classy colors with good textures.

3. Fix the Broken Pieces. Show the customers that you care for their need for protection and comfort. The level of charm of your house will not work well if you have broken pieces in any area of the house, i.e. walls, floor tiles, windows. Upgrade the insulating material of your glass and gates to help maintain the heat range within. Fix leaking faucets and loose cabling.

4. Highlight Energy Savers. Environment-friendliness is getting attraction in several communities nowadays. It will be valuable to update your house to have energy-saving lights. An overhead light bulb can be lit up in the main entrance of your place. For cost efficiency, the light there does not need to be kept on all night.

Get a motion-sensitive lighting style system that will be triggered when somebody enters discreetly. This will also act up as a protection system, by notifying you to prospective trespassers and thieves any time of the day. These changes will not only increase your property's value, but they also bring down your utility bills expenses.

5. Let Air In. Natural air does not only give more positive vibes. Adequate cross-ventilation and exposure to natural sunlight also helps in providing lower costs to modernization. You don't want the house to smell old. So there has to be new air coming in and out daily. If the current house layout does not allow sunshine to enter and air to flow in, consider hiring some architect to make the change unless you are a professional at doing this yourself.

End Notes

Having said all these, the main point here is to put yourself in the shoes of the prospective customer. When you know how they feel and know somewhat what is likeable (and not), you can be almost sure to land more than one fantastic offer and increase the value of your property.