Photography at the Alcove


The Alcove is inviting all interested photographers and camera clubs to submit proposals for exhibition in 2007. We can accommodate 20 to 30 photographs in black and white or monochrome for display. We will accept submissions from both local and foreign photographers but priority will be given to Filipino photographers.

The Alcove, a pocket gallery dedicated for black-and-white photography, has been mounting well-conceptualized photo exhibitions since March 2000. Housed at the historic Nielson Tower (now Filipinas Heritage Library), it also gives every exhibit a sense of history.

For interested applicants, please click on this link for more details.


Break into the photography business with PHOTOGRAPHY FOR PROFIT!

You may have recently purchased a camera and enjoy taking photographs, spent time improving your photographic skills by reading a book or two and taking a short course, spent weekends photographing your favorite subject, thought of making a career out of it but do not know how, or started your photography business but you are not so happy with the results -this one-day course is intended for every photographer who thinks of becoming a pro regardless of your stage in photography. This is scheduled on January 20, 2007.

For the hobbyists, non-serious amateurs, and photo enthusiasts, we have improved our non-pro offerings for you.

Upcoming workshops
Digital 101 Jan 24, 26, 29, 31, Feb 2 6-9 p.m.
Primer on Lighting, Feb 3 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Digital 101, Feb 19, 21, 23, 26, 28 6- 9 p.m.
NEW! Pet photography Feb 17, 24 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Please note that schedule may change without prior notice.

For more details, please call 8921801, fax 8921810, email, or visit

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Richard Carlson, author of Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff passed away a few days ago. Just 10 short days before his untimely death, Richard wrote his heartfelt advice on how to deal with the holidays and enjoy what matters most. Please do read Richard’s holiday message. It is more powerful and eloquent than anything I could ever share.As we get increasingly stressed while looking at the ever-multiplying Christmas list, a good mantra to recite would be.. “The holiday’s aren’t an emergency”. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Calm down and focus on those things that bring you and others joy.

Rules to Grow Rich By

I got these tips from CNN”s Money e-magazine. It’s a very useful guide for most of our financial questions.




  1. For return on investment, the best home renovation is to upgrade an old bathroom. Kitchens come in second. It’s worth refinancing your mortgage when you can cut your interest rate by at least one point.
  2. Spend no more than 2½ times your income on a home. For a down payment, it’s best to come up with at least 20%.
  3. Your total housing payments should not exceed 28% of your gross income. Total debt payments should come in under 36%.
  4. Never hire an electrician or plumber who is going door to door.


  1. To figure out what percentage of your money should be in stocks, subtract your age from 120.
  2. Invest no more than 10% of your portfolio in your company stock–or any single company’s stock, for that matter.
  3. Aim to build a retirement nest egg that is 25 times the annual investment income you need.
  4. If you don’t understand how an investment works, don’t buy it.




  1. If you’re not saving 10% of your salary, you aren’t saving enough.
  2. Keep three months’ worth of living expenses in a bank savings account or a money-market fund for emergencies. If you have kids or rely on one income, make it six months’.
  3. Aim to accumulate enough money to pay for a third of your kids’ college costs. You can borrow the rest or cover it from your income.
  4. You need enough life insurance to replace at least five years of your salary–as much as 10 years if you have several young children or significant debts.
  5. When you buy insurance, choose the highest deductible you can afford. It’s the easiest way to lower your premium.
  6. The best credit card is a no-fee rewards card that you pay in full every month. But if you carry a balance, high interest rates will wipe out the benefits.
  7. The best way to improve your credit score is to pay bills on time and to borrow no more than 30% of your available credit.
  8. Anyone who calls or e-mails you asking for your Social Security number or information about your bank or credit-card account is a scam artist.


  1. The best way to save money on a car is to buy a late-model used car and drive it until it’s junk. A car loses 30% of its value in the first year.
  2. Lease a new car or truck only if you plan to replace it within two or three years.
  3. Resist the urge to buy the latest computer or other gadget as soon as it comes out. Wait three months and the price will be lower.
  4. Buy airline tickets early because the cheapest fares are snapped up first. Most seats go on sale 11 months in advance.
  5. Don’t redeem frequent-flier miles unless you can get more than a dollar’s worth of air fare or other stuff for every 100 miles you spend.
  6. When you shop for electronics, don’t pay for an extended warranty. One exception: It’s a laptop and the warranty is from the manufacturer.


Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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Magsaysay Institute of Hospitality & Culinary Arts: A New Sun Rises

The Magsaysay Group will be launching the Magsaysay Institute of Hospitality & Culinary Arts (MIHCA) in the upcoming school year. The edge over CCA and Benilde? A close association with other Magsaysay affiliates which will surely lead to fulfilling careers in the Hospitality Industry here and abroad. The courses are developed and certified by the US-based Johnson & Wales University with internships in world-class hotels and restaurants. The programs include basic foundation courses as well as upgrading courses for those preparing for management-level positions.

Contact details:
Magsaysay Institute of Hospitality and Culinary Arts
3/F Times Plaza
United Nations Avenue corner Taft Avenue
Manila Philippines 1000
T: (632) 524-9586; (632) 523-8538; (632) 523-5653; (632) 527-6160; (632) 528-1627
W:, if you are looking for a career with the Magsaysay Group, you may apply online at Positions are available in the ff areas:
1. Marine (Deck & Engine)
2. Hospitality (Cruise Ship)
3. Healthcare (Nursing & Caregiver)

Certification and Awards:
ISO 9001:2000 Certified by DET NORSKE VERITAS
Lloyd’s List Best Manning Agent 2005 (Asia-Pacific)
DOLE-POEA Award of Excellence 2005
DOLE-POEA Performance Awards 2005
Highest Foreign Exchange Earnings – Seabased Sector
Exemplary Welfare Programs & Allied Services
Exemplary Technical Capability
Highest Deployment of Seafarers

Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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Life planning

— I can’t remember now who the author of this article is, but the message is something which I’d like to share with everyone —Traditional financial planning is all about math and money. You look at how much you earn, figure out how much you will need in the future to maintain your desired lifestyle and try to come up with an investment plan that will help you reach the magic number that will allow you to retire. The process is generally about as exciting as balancing a checkbook and as emotionally draining as paying taxes. Unfortunately, many people choose not to deal with it all, preferring to put off worrying about the future until it arrives. Others go about the process with a sort of resignation born of the fact that, aside from death and taxes, your bills are just another part of life – they need to be dealt with because you don’t have much choice. However, there’s a quiet minority of investors that are taking a different approach. It goes by a variety of names, but “life planning” is one of the more frequently heard terms.

Life planning is different than traditional financial planning because the focus is more about who you are and who you want to be than it is about money. Unlike people engaged in the traditional planning process, people engaged in the life planning process don’t look ahead in an effort to figure out how to maintain their current lifestyles in retirement. Instead, they look at how to change their current lifestyle to achieve the lifestyle of their dreams. Read on to discover how you can use this approach to financial planning.

The Ideal Lifestyle
Many people credit the baby boomers for this trend – former flower children who grew up and were absorbed by corporate America, but who never lost their ideals. Just as the boomers redefined their “golden years” as a time to be more active than their predecessors were, some want to go a step further and redefine themselves.

For these people, the concept of money is intertwined with the concepts of spirituality, creativity, family, service and other emotional aspects of personal satisfaction. Happiness is measured in more than just dollars and cents. It’s not, “he who dies with most toys wins,” it’s, “he who gets the most out of life wins.”

For many, it’s more of a lifestyle change than anything resembling the retirement-planning process most of us are familiar with from 401(k) seminars at work or meetings with a financial advisor. The doctor who wants to be a painter, the law clerk who wants to be a poet and the city-dwelling office manager who longs for a cabin in the mountains are all increasingly turning to financial-service professionals for help in making those dreams come true. Of course, the money plays a big role too. (

Money and Sacrifice
There’s just no escaping the money (or the lack thereof). The mailman who wants to become Donald Trump is probably out of luck. However, the attorney who wants to trade in her suit to pick up a hammer and open a repair shop might be able to do it in cash. The others have to make choices, so they work with a financial advisor in order to determine how to develop the financial plan that will allow them to realize their personal goals.

Rather than trying to earn more money or build a bigger nest egg, a significant number of people need to make do with less in order to achieve their goals. Giving up the big house, trading in the BMW and skipping the month-long trips to Europe can help decrease expenses and enable people to trade in their day jobs for lower paying, but personally-fulfilling, professions and past-times.

If living in a small apartment frees up enough cash to increase time spent on the golf course, some people are willing to make the trade. In order to exchange the stress of corporate management for the quiet bliss of a career grooming pets, some people are willing to take a significant cut in pay. When you don’t like what you’re doing and know how you’d rather spend your time, life planning can help you make the transition.

Trimming Expenses

Now that Christmas is just around the corner (and hopefully the shopping list has been accomplished), it’s time to make lists for the New Year. Let’s count the ways in which we can save on a few more pesos.
  1. Pay cash whenever possible. Psychologically, it’s harder to spend cash than use plastic.
  2. Research before travelling. There is a wealth of knowledge AND bargains to be found online.
  3. Plan your purchases. Don’t buy on an impulse. Patience is a virtue. If you see something you like in a store, chances are that it will be included in one of the many midnight madness sales which come at least once a quarter. Why pay full price when you can get it for 20% off? =)
  4. Open a separate savings account (preferably one of the higher interest money market accounts) for big-ticket items such as appliances, travel, or house.
  5. Use a budget, especially for gifts.
  6. Track your spending on paper. If you write it all down, you’ll probably spend less.
  7. Ask if there are discounts (before ordering in restaurants or checking out at the counter). You’d be suprised at the number of freebies you can get in restaurants if only you ask.
  8. Quit the cigarettes and the booze.
  9. Save all your change and use it to buy gifts next year.
  10. Have pot-luck dinners. Rotate the hosting.
  11. Have semi-annual garage sales. If you haven’t used it in over a year, chances are you won’t use it in the years to come.
  12. Only use ATMS where you won’t be charged service fees.
  13. With the rising cost of oil, look at fuel-efficient cars when considering your next purchase.
  14. Pay off your credit cards monthly and avoid paying interest.
  15. Take advantage of your company benefits — take that annual medical/dental exam. Health is wealth.
  16. Buy term instead of whole life or universal life insurance.
  17. Take advantage of VOIP for your long distance calls.
  18. Cut back on eating out.
  19. Buy energy-efficience appliances. They’re cheaper in the long run.
  20. Keep up maintenance on cars. It may prevent costly future problems.
  21. Pay your bills online. Check out the online bills payment facility of bancnet.
  22. Buy an e-pass or EC Tag. It will save you time and remember, time is money.
  23. Brown bag it or scout out the inexpensive place to buy lunch.
  24. Do you REALLY need that capuccino? =)

Are you an ‘extreme worker’?

Do you know someone to exhibits these signs?
— Long work weeks — put in over 70 hours a week on the job
— Are available to serve clients and deal with their emergencies at any time of the day or night.
— Little time off. Take 10 or fewer vacations per year, far fewer than they are entitled to.

Sylvia Ann Hewlett, recently wrote an article in the Harvard Business Review about the rise of the “extreme worker”. Increased competition for high-level positions and declining job security has encouraged excessive work. The image of the overachiever has been glamorized and the financial rewards have been great. As has been the fallout in their personal lives.

We live in a world which celebrates the extreme.. from extreme sports to extreme reality shows. There is little room for moderation.

I don’t know if that is the American way of life which has insiduously seeped into our own culture. I look at envy at the Europeans who have such joie de vivre.. and take their month long vacations seriously. Laura Stack said it best: Overwork is not a competition worth winning.