Money Style of Mine

I don’t have heaps of it. You’re reading the blog of a practically poor female blogger, to be frank with you. Still I can talk about the topic above because money is a necessary evil in people’s lives (including mine). Besides, I used to be an accountant. Yes money can buy some comfort but definitely not (my) happiness (I’d always choose love over bucks although there’s invariably room to change my mind 🙂 ). Don’t you think I like not having it in spite of the fact I’m more of a saver than a spender.

A credit card isn’t something I want to get used to carrying around. Many years in the past, some plastic money occupied a space in my wallet until it got discarded by me as I figured I could get by without one. The continuous slight temptation to purchase inessential items must be done away with.

The other day, though, I applied for a credit card again. Because I plan to indulge in occasional journeys and have been anticipating a situation when I might need it in case of an emergency far away from home. The last time I gallivanted to a few sites in Central Europe, my sister who was my travel companion, used her rectangular cards for the two of us. I simply reimbursed her in cash. It would be foolish, however, of me to depend on her like that repeatedly. Plus, maybe solo traveling will be included in my agenda someday soon.

I’ve never bought anything on the internet. You need a credit card for that, right? Accordingly, I don’t know the procedure on how peeps do business online. Yeah, you must be thinking I just stepped down here from the remotest mountains… A few of my former blog pals, in addition, weren’t happy with the Luddite in me who couldn’t buy the books they’d promote on their blogs.

No assets whatsoever are attached to my name or considered my possession; I’ve got none. I have no liabilities either and detest borrowing and loaning dough to anyone (Such transactions damage all kinds of relationships). The (almost rent-free) roof over my head has been attributable to my sister’s generosity. Our father bequeathed the family house to her and simply handed my younger brother and me some money a couple of decades ago. Real estate market boomed and property prices skyrocketed; while the value of peso dramatically plummeted. Hence, my brother and I got much poorer; our elder sister got so much richer.

Not being chained to both substantial and trivial belongings has been liberating anyway. I used to have a car yet I gave it away (to my sister) and never missed maintaining that (problematic) vehicle made in Korea (ugh). There’ll come a time in one’s life when proprietary rights to material stuff veers to become an encumbrance. Or perhaps that’s just the free spirit or the staunch bohemian in me speaking.

Another thing: Weeks ago, when I was suffering from the unexpected activation of my stomach acidity due to my irregular sleep patterns (and milk tea, Coke, spicy and sour edibles, etc.), it dawned on me there’s such a thing as fatal ulcer(?) and I might suddenly die from it(?). All I could think of was “I should have at least enjoyed the li’l money I saved from teaching English to moronic ‘Ks’.” I’ve always felt insecure financially and have tried to perpetually beat the corrupt economic system by being thrifty and a wise spender – and all for what?

But I had also splurged on particular instances. Like when I flew business class to London, or when I bought three small computers (why the hell did I do that!?) within a year, or when I ate at a costly buffet restaurant (even though I’m not a big eater) every weekend for two straight months. Basically, I get nervous at the thought of losing everything, every penny, and go starving, ending up begging for coins along the streets to feed myself in the future. In contrast, sometimes I wish I weren’t as disciplined and prudent regarding monetary matters.

There’s a growing hunch in me I’m gonna die totally penniless… and, to be perfectly honest, it doesn’t sound so bad.

By the way, this September, I am going to Norway. Yehey!


Autumn in Bergen, Norway.  Photography by cittyhopper2, Tumbler

October Babe Musings – Can Cash and Politics with Conscience Go Hand in Hand?

I’ve never liked politics, although I normally give my support to my favored political candidates by voting for them during election periods. Our incumbent president is one person I trust because he has vowed to remain true to the ideals of his well-loved parents. I can tell he’s doing his best. Other than that, the drama of Philippine politics is one area I don’t want to waste my time on.

These days, I can’t endure hearing anymore updates on the Pork Barrel scam which has nastily shaken up our country in recent times. What could be exciting in learning yet of another case of utter mishandling of funds by our government authorities? Surprisingly this time, the most popular members of the Congress and the Senate are figuring in the scandal. We’re talking about billions of pesos here, which has been manipulated to fall into the personal pockets of the wrong people instead of benefiting the right constituents. It’s embarrassing how the Philippines has become known widely, not just for its endemic poverty, but also for its deeply-corrupt officials.

Many are convinced the Marcos family, who had ruled the country for 20 years, set the perfect example of how the top leaders of a nation could get away with it all despite cases of plunder and murder that had been slapped against them. Imelda Marcos and her children currently are still enjoying their freedom, their wealth, their ostentatious lifestyle, and are even occupying congressional seats here as representatives of their home province. Unbelievable. We filipinos are that forgiving, I guess. Now it seems amoral fellows have come to rely upon the annals of misbehaving officials who were left unpunished – and to the forbearing nature of us ordinary citizens in the aftermath of their abominable financial deeds.

Personally, I don’t understand the psyche of anyone who can be ok with taking something that isn’t theirs in the first place. That’s outright stealing, of course, which is a crime. Eternal damnation isn’t part of my spiritual fears, yet I would never want anyone to suspect of my soul as negotiable if the cash was enticing enough.

As a tangent, you could also say borrowing money has never been a habit of mine. Alright, so neither is the habit of lending money, I admit (yep, don’t wonder why I’ve got few friends :-)). It is likely to lead to distasteful relationships, unpleasant circumstances – and the ramifications can be pretty heavy. I don’t know; the concept and practice of loan make me uncomfortable. Now you understand better why having a credit card is not my style.

Why does everything have to be about money in this world?

I guess this post states one more reason why I think I was born in the wrong country. Or the wrong planet. Or whatever.

A 20 peso bill with the image of Malacanang Palace - home of the Philippine president
A 20-peso bill with the image of Malacanang Palace – home of the Philippine president

Double Posts: Give Me That Half A Billion Pesos! – Plus My Lamentation As An Online Lottery Merchant

marilyn monroeMy needs and wants are not many. I’ve always thought I have not really been financially ambitious. Ok, that may not be an absolute certainty. But I irrefutably wouldn’t choose to do dealings business-wise relating to any form of gambling. I even rarely bet on a game of chance myself. Then how did I get to become a middleman for the Philippine Charity Lottery Office? A more critical question: Why am I still holding a franchise to operate this type of retail after all those tough years? How could I have let it box me in for too long?

Long story from a long time ago.

The first, original stall for its operation was originally set-up by my ex-husband – through the assistance of my elder sister who had connections inside the government agency. He decided to go for it despite the fact any connection to gambling matters is forbidden by his religion. He badly wanted to invest the money he had saved from working as an Overseas Contract Worker on a sure business that would give him a return on his capital. So he, or rather we, ended up as among the pioneers of online lottery-ticket generators of this nation some 13 years ago. Then something happened along the way. We were held up helplessly at gun point just barely outside our booth during a closing time one night. We lost the entire day’s sales which had to be remitted to PCSO (government agency). The misfortune discouraged him severely. As a consequence, he came to the conclusion I might do a better job of managing everything – due to my commerce background and more structured conceptions – thereby passing on to me his minuscule business; with all the responsibilities holding such a franchise entails. It turned out, as time went on, I could manage things more effectively than him. Until resentments ensued and ramifications of changes that occurred started playing a part in the dissolution of our relationship and – in the end – our marriage. The earnings coming from the business had proved insufficient, too, to support the three of us – him, my son, and me. He finally proceeded in converting all the franchise documents to my name so he’d completely be free from all legal commitments to the main office. A few months later, he left us and never came back.

The course of maintaining and operating such a franchise are far from uncomplicated. I am seriously thinking of giving it up – now that my son has already completed college. The red tape, daily remittance, prompt submission of reports which take too much work weigh heavily against the minimal income the franchise is currently generating. The low return has been compounded by the numerous other outlets the Main Office had approved to sprout within the vicinity of my lottery booth. I often ruminate these days on how operating it isn’t worth the troubles anymore. The feeling of being stuck with the system, with all those accompanying demands, has added to my growing indifference, too. For now, I’m in the dark as to how all this will end.

Funny how lottery mimics some major parts of our lives. Anything can happen. There are no guarantees. Life can be a game of chance.


In this country, winning that much amount of a jackpot prize means you have been stamped “DEAD” on your forehead or scheduled for extinction very very soon.

If you think keenly about it – given the circumstance of our cash-strapped society – who can you trust aside from your immediate family while in possession of that much amount of dough?

Scary, isn’t it? Yet I bet nobody can stop you from falling in long line to grab even the slimmest chance of winning the sum above.

You should know: The chance of getting struck by lightning thrice (yep, that’s 3X, baby) is higher than getting all the numbers right in any of the 6/45, 6/49, or 6/55 lotto game. It is that hard to hit a fortune through lottery. But my countrymen are incessantly fond of indulging in inexpensive games of chance. Proof of which are the millions of filipinos who visit lottery stores to purchase those tiny tickets everyday of their lives, hoping to get lucky and strike it rich. We most often feel it’s our only hope – in spite of the fact we’re simply buying the dream; allowing us a (rather quixotic?) differential mode of optimism. For the longest time, frolicking in Wishland where life is easier and cash-abundant has long been a national pastime in our country.  It’s free to dream anyway (except when procuring a lottery ticket), isn’t it?

When the pot prize gets to rise to half a billion pesos, there’s no doubt I’ll fall in line, as well, no matter how long it is – joining my fellow citizens here – in buying the dream.

Who knows?   

But first, I’d better make sure lightning doesn’t strike me first.


A few days ago, a younger blogger pal mentioned he was listening to songs of the Eagles and I went, “Why, I adore the Eagles!” Yes, the band remains to be my all-time favourite so I got busy looking for two of my most favourites from them: “One of These Nights” and “New Kid in Town” from You Tube. Lovely lyrics; rich and exquisite melodies. And I thought Don Henley and Glen Frey have the coolest voices ever.

Lady from Manila is a bona fide fan of the Eagles for infinity.

The full moon is calling

The fever is high and the wicked wind whispers and moans

You got your demons, you got desires

Well I got a few of my own.

Someone to be kind to in between the dark and the light

Loneliness will find you in between the wrong and the right.

I’ve been searching for the daughter of the devil himself

I’ve been searching for an angel in white

I’ve been waiting for a woman who’s a little of both

And I can feel her but she’s nowhere in sight.


You look in her eyes the music begins to play…


I’ve neglected this blog for a couple of weeks due to reasons I can’t exactly reveal here. My point is, I got tied up at work and my hands were full (with work, of course). But I missed rambling in here so I’m just delighted to be back.

Actually, I got preoccupied with something trivial to my mundane existence but nevertheless crucial to my imaginary world. You see, here in my country, the lottery pot prize has gone up to more than 600 million pesos and it’s like everybody is going gaga over winning it. I know I know, I’ve better chances of getting struck by lightning thrice than getting all the numbers right in this 6/55 lotto game. But I’m a dreamer.. just like the millions of other filipinos who fall in line to buy their lottery tickets everyday of their lives. We’re all buying the dream. Frolicking in dreamland where life is so much easier is a national pastime in our land because it’s totally free (except for the lottery ticket). Not to mention our only hope.

Sometimes it got me thinking, I’m not really a materialistic person (indeed!), so how would I spend all that money if I ever won it? Hmm.. Of course, the first thing that comes to my mind is buy myself a nice, medium-sized house to shelter me and my son and my cat. Wow, I would like that. Because that would mean my son will finally have his own room to put all his stuff in, and my cat “snowy” can stay outside of the house where she can have her own space to roam and some exclusive space to pee and poo. And she’d probably also stop following me around begging for attention and food (not necessarily in that order). I’d really like that.

What would I do with the rest of the money? Well, if I will stay alive to enjoy it (as you know, having that much money in this country could cost you your life like what happened to a few jackpot winners here), I’m gonna buy myself umm, oh yeah, (drumroll please), I’m gonna buy myself some LOVE.

Oh please, stop giving me that look. And why not?  If rich famous women could get themselves a boytoy, I’d be more than happy to join them. But this time I’m gonna raise the bar much higher in choosing my uhm, boytoy. I’d want him tall, with good built, quite handsome, very very attractive, and so articulate in english. Oh, and he should be good at “many other things” as well..he he he..

Did I say I’m gonna buy myself love, or something else really? Now that got me confused..

Anyway, I don’t mind getting my hands on that half a billion pesos. It’s probably my only chance to rent Bavid Beckham or James Yap or Dingdong Dantes for a couple of nights.

But I better make sure lightning doesn’t strike me first.