Showing posts from September, 2006

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3 Cost Effective Ways to Solve Metro Manila's Traffic Problem

The Facebook page of ANC 24/7 is asking for its reader's suggestion on how to solve Metro Manila's traffic problem.

This got me thinking, "what is the best way to solve Metro Manila's traffic problem?" It's easy to make suggestions, what's hard is the implementation and the cost of implementation. So what is the the best way to solve Metro Manila's traffic problem and the most cost effective solution?

Punitive Fines
First of all, any implementation will definitely cost money, a lot of money. The cause of the traffic mess is the people themselves so it's only right that those causing the traffic problem should be fined and the fine should hurt. That way, the fines will pay for the cost of enforcing the law.
The fines should start at P500 and goes up every week if you don't pay it within 15 days. To enforce this and prevent people from ignoring the fine. It will be tied to their driver's license or car registration. They cannot renew their d…

Hedge Fund Woes

Pirate Capital LLC, an activist hedge fund manager said Thursday that its investment staff will be cut in half and its fund will be closed to new investors. Another hedge fund manager, Amaranth Advisors LLC loss a whopping US$6 Billion betting on the wrong side of the market. Add to this several other hedge funds which has either closed down or stopped accepting new investors due to poor returns.

The bull market in commodities created a slew of hedge funds banking on investors wanting to get into the game. A lot of Income Trust and REITs were also established to capitalize on the real estate boom as well as the oil boom.

Most of these funds have a track record of less than 5 years. Yet investors are willing to invest in these funds just because they are the darling of the fund rating companies or they achieved spectacular returns in their first few years, some making over 105% in one year.

It seems to me that people never learn. Don't they remember the recent crash of the stock marke…

Sony E-Book Reader

Sony has come out with a new e-book reader that displays pages like a book. Using Sony's "E Ink" technology, the display looks more like paper than an LCD display. The display can be viewed from every angle and can be viewed in bright or dim lighting. The text can be magnified as well.

The built in memory can hold up to 80 books but you can plug in a Memory Stick or an SD card for more memory. It also MS Word documents, PDF, blogs, newsfeeds and JPEGs, so it can double as a newpaper as well. Not only that, it also plays MP3 and AAC audio files as well.

It comes with a dock to you computer and you can purchase ebooks via the Sony CONNECT site. The Sony Reader retails for US$349.99 not including the cost for ebooks.

The only drawback I see is if this is a closed system where you can only buy ebooks from Sony CONNECT. As what usually happens with Sony, a lot of their systems are proprietary that its either too expensive or not enough people use it due to its closed nature that…

Philippines now "Second World" says Arroyo

GMA declares that the Philippines is now a second world or middle class country.

Is this like when she declared that there is no more classroom shortage (by fixing the numbers)? Or that the government has defeated unemployment (by fixing the numbers, again)?

Just because she said it doesn't make it so.

Read her delusions here.

Downturn in the market

Originally posted at Secular Change on Jun. 8, 2006

As I type this, the stock market has been going down for the last 4 days. The Dow Jones is down to 10,938.82. It's down over 500 pts from it's high of 11,259.96 on June 5 to a low of 10,757.55 on June 8, 2006.

The media says the market are reacting to fears about the Fed raising the interest rates. But is that all there is to it?

If we are to look at the overall market. Nothing is really keeping the market up. The U.S. Dollar is getting lower, earnings seems to be slowing, cost of goods are up due to the high cost of commodities like oil and metals. In short, the cost of everything is rising. So how can companies sustain their earnings?

Dividend yields of the S&P is at 1.94%. That's lower than what you'll get in a high-interest savings account. P/E ratio is current at 17.57 while historical P/E of the S&P500 is 13.7 which means the market is overvalued by 28.25%.

Bond yields have been rising, although I think we mi…

China's booming economy

Originally posted at Secular Change on May 11, 2006

I can finally say that yes, China's economy really is booming. And I saw it with my own two eyes. When I went to China 20 years ago, everywhere I look people were wearing basically the same clothes or uniforms if you want to call it that. Everyone was riding bikes or mopeds. If ever you see any cars, they were either farm tractors or dilapidated cars. There were very few buildings and almost everywhere the roads are made of dirt.

Getting in to the country was a pain as the immigration officials were suspicious of everyone. Even if you're a Chinese tourist.

Now, everyone is wearing modern clothes and buildings are sprouting everywhere. They even have Mercedez Benzes for taxis. Immigration is more lenient and fast. Shanghai has built the fastest train in the world. More and more people are driving cars like Audi, BMW and Benz.

Outside our hotel window, I saw six buildings over 20 stories high each being constructed, and the constru…

Tallest Building in the World

Originally posted at Secular Change on May 11, 2006

With China's booming economy, the country can afford to build big and tall. Here, the building behind the one under construction is called the Jin Mao building which stands 88 stories high or 421 metres. It is listed as the 5th tallest building in the world.

It is said that the top floors are usually above the clouds and that when it rains, the people on top usually call downstairs to see if it is still raining down below.

Not content to having just the 5th tallest building, the building under construction in front is said to rise up to 103 floors topping "Taipei 101" located in Taiwan which is currently the tallest building in the world.

Maglev Tracks

Originally posted at Secular Change on May 11, 2006

Here are the tracks of the Maglev train. No rails, just rows and rows of magnets which pushes and repels the magnets on the train to take it to 431 km/h.

Fastest Train in the World

Originally posted at Secular Change on May 11, 2006

The growing wealth of China can be seen here, the fastest train in the world.

This MagLev train uses no wheels but instead floats on air using magnets. The top speed of this train is 431 km/h which takes you from Shanghai Pudong Airport to Longyang Rd. Station 30 km away in only 8 minutes.

Back in the Philippines

Originally posted at Secular Change on May 3, 2006

I'm back in the Philippines for a vacation today and things have changed a lot. Some for the better and some for the worst. I live in Binondo and Plaza Binondo has been changed by Mayor Atienza from a grass covered plaza to all concrete and tiles. Aside from a few big trees that was left, all the greenery is gone.

Not only that, since the redevelopment of Baywalk, a lot of the greeneries has been reduced. It seems like that Mayor Atienza has an aversion to all things natural. So he's changing everything to concrete and tiles. Manila has really changed into a concrete jungle.

Though Manila always has thing drive called "Clean and Green". The only thing green I usually see are green painted walls and paint.

There's also a lot of development of new restaurants and stores. A new McDonald is here, KFC, Yellow Cab Pizza and Starbucks.

I'm going to China tomorrow. I'm excited to see what all the things that has gotte…

Trade: One red paper clip for a house

Originally posted at Secular Change on Apr. 15, 2006

Do you think you can get a house for one red paper clip? Well, Kyle MacDonald is doing just that.

His goal is to trade his one red paper clip for another item until he can trade a whole house. He traded his red paper clip for one fish pen, the pen for a door knob, the door knob for a coleman barbeque, the barbeque for a generator and so on.

So far, he's up to a house in Phoenix for one year, rent free. He now has offers for an apartment in Hollywood for the summer rent free which includes the use of a Porsche. Another offer is for a lap dance for 24 hours, a car and a 30 second TV commercial.

Now that's thinking outside the box!

Check out his website.

From Waste to Wealth

Originally posted at Secular Change on Apr. 13, 2006

Think that all those garbage lying around are worthless? Well here's two Filipino-Canadians who turned waste into money.

Rafael Diego and Julio Macaraig found an innovative way to use sawdust and other waste fibers into a new product. They set up a company called JER Envirotech (JER.V) where they recycle waste plastics and sawdust, combine it in a patented process and out comes a new material with the properties of both plastics and wood. This compound is called Wood-Plastic Composites or WPC.

The new materials can be molded into various shapes just like plastics, but has the look of natural wood. Currently, their main products are panel boards which can be used as an alternative to ply-wood. This panel board is well suited for tropical countries such as the Philippines since it is resistant to moisture, termites and highly fire resistant. It also doesn't fade, warp or shrink.

The best thing about these panel boards is that it r…

Welcome Canuck!

Originally posted at Secular Change on Mar. 31, 2006

What could be a bigger change than migrating to a new country?

Check out my new blog on what to do when you migrate to Canada.


Originally posted at Secular Change on Mar. 3, 2006

I just saw an amazing invention that will help millions of people living in poverty get safe drinking water. It's called LifeStraw.

It cost about $3 to $4 and is good for the use of one adult for one year. It's still in development but the results are fantastic.

Check it out.

The actual website of the company that made it is

Their website for the actual product is

Why People Don't Invest: 12 Humorous Reasons

Originally posted at Secular Change on Feb. 21, 2006

1. They're already paying into Social Security.

2. Their budget includes $20 per week for lottery tickets, which is bound to pay off soon.

3. They believe that inflation means their money will grow.

4. Old people don't eat much anyway.

5. They sit at home waiting for the Publishers Clearing House van to pull up in their driveway and deliver their check.

6. Their money is safely buried in the backyard.

7. Their rich Aunt Melba will die soon.

8. Little Matilda is sure to make it big in Hollywood.

9. They can cash in their Dallas Cowboy collector glasses when it's time to retire.

10. Their dot-com stocks will come back to life.

11. They'll write a book and live off the royalties.

12. They plan on marrying a young wife/husband when they're 60 and depend on their financial support.


Excerpt from Robert Kiyosaki's article in Yahoo. To read more, follow this link.…


Originally posted at Secular Change on Feb. 16, 2006

"Excuses are the language of the failure, and the melody of the mediocre…" -- Doug Firebaugh

"The patient person accepts a certain amount of failure knowing that it is as important a thread in the fabric of life as is success. Great individuals make great successes out of failure." -- Denis Waitley

"It doesn't matter how much milk you spill as long as you don't lose the cow." -- Harvey Mackay

"Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently." -- Henry Ford


Originally posted at Secular Change on Feb. 1, 2006

Well, I changed my blog. I figured it was too limited to keep my post about being a salesman. Since my interest are financial planning, investment and sales anyway. I decided to change the content of my website.

I decided on the title because it is the philosophy of Jim Rogers. He's the investor that I admire the most. He doesn't get caught up with all the fluff of Wall Street. He instead goes with his analysis of the investment and the country.

One of his investment philosophy is to invest in a country or an investment when there is a secular change.

I believe that change is good and sometimes we have to change what we do and how we do things to improve our situation.

Change is good.

Why 30 Somethings Can't Get Ahead

Originally posted at Secular Change on Jan. 31, 2006

A frightening article about college education today.


Originally posted at Secular Change on Dec. 30, 2005

D is for Dare (dare to dream while others don't)
R is for Relentless (relentlessly pursue your dream no matter what)
E is for Excellence (strive for excellence in all you do)
A is for Abandon (abandon any other alternative plans)
M is for Measure (constantly measure where you are in your dream journey)

High Net Worth Success: The Short and Long Term

Originally posted at Secular Change on Dec. 8, 2005

12/08/2005 - By Paul Karasik, President and Founder The Business Institute.

Very few people dream of becoming a seller of financial products and services. Yet each year, attracted by the riches of Wall Street, tens of thousands of people make their way into the business.

For some, wealth becomes a reality. The financial industry allows for an endless number of successful business models, as well as the freedom to create a business that is suited to your personality, your products and services, and your target market.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of newcomers to the business leave in a matter of months. And sadly, many of those who generate enough sales to stay in the business fail to achieve anywhere near their potential because they have made a critical mistake in focus. Too many people in the business are short-term oriented rather than long-term oriented.

In the short term, making enough to pay the rent is enough of a motivation. T…

Seeds of Greatness by Denis Waitley

Originally posted at Secular Change on Dec. 2, 2005Winning IsWinning is never whining.Winning is coming in fourth, exhausted but excited, because you came in fifth last time.Winning is being glad you’re you.Winning is a feeling, there is no ceiling.Winning is beginning, and by beginning, the game is half won.Winning is all in the attitude!

Help! I'm Slumping, and I Can't get a Sale! by Jeffery Gitomer

Originally posted at Secular Change on Nov. 10, 2005Here's a good tip!==================In a slump? Not making enough (or any) sales. Feel like you're unable to get out of the rut? Maybe you're not in a big slump, but just can't seem to hit the quota numbers. Let's be kind and call it "sales under-achievement."Don't panic.
Don't press too hard.
Don't get down on yourself.
Don't get mad.
And above all -- don't quit.What causes a slump? You do. Therefore, you are the best (only) person to fix it.Here are the prime causes of sales slumps:Poor belief system - I don't believe that my company or product is the best. I don't think that I'm the best.Poor work habits - Getting to work late, or barely "on time," Not spending your time productively.Misperceptions that lead to sour grapes - I think my prices are too high, or my territory is bad.Outside pressure - Caused by money problems, family problems, or personal problems.Poo…

The 14 Absolutely Unbreakable Laws of Selling Success by Brian Tracy

Originally posted at Secular Change on Nov. 1, 2005

1. The Law of Sales: Nothing happens until a sale takes place.

2. The Law of Ambition: How high you rise is largely determined by how high you decide to climb.

3. The Law of Need: Every decision to purchase a product or service is an attempt to satisfy a need or relieve a dissatisfaction of some kind.

4. The Law of Problems: Every product or service can be viewed as the solution to a problem or the resolution of an uncertainty.

5. The Law of Persuasion: The purpose the of the selling process is to convince the customer that she will be better off with the product than she would be with the money necessary to buy the product.

6. The Law of Security: The deepest craving of human nature is the desire for personal, financial and emotional security.

7. The Law of Risk: Risk is inherent in any investment of time, money or emotion.

8. The Law of Trust: The trust bond between the salesperson and the customer is the foundation of the successful sale.


Originally posted at Secular Change on Oct. 29, 2005

"People with goals succeed because they know where they are going... It's
as simple as that." By Earl Nightingale

It is as simple as that. When I have a task to do, I usually finish it faster and better when I write down what my goal is for that particular task than when I don't.

I remember on my very first job, when I worked for an Internet Service Provider. I was hired as a technical support personnel. As a technical support personnel, my job was to go out and set up our client's computers for the Internet. That was when setting up an Internet connection was all manually done.

I hated that work, the travel was a pain with all the traffic, pollution and heat in Manila. I wanted to become a system administrator and stay in the office.

But the only people who were given the job as system administrators where those who studied computer science and knows how to program. I know a little bit of programming but I was not a…


Originally posted at Secular Change Oct. 22, 2005

One of the most valuable tools to have in sales is a day planner. There are different kinds you can use from paper based planners to electronic PDAs. I personally use a PDA. I've used both Palm and Windows Mobile. By far, the simplest to use is a Palm, it's very stable, it's fast and basically, it's very simple to use.

If all you need is to keep track of your appointments, contacts and to-do list. Palm is the simplest way to go. They have several version from the simplest to the more complex with cellphone features.

Recently though, I have been using a Windows Mobile device, an HP iPAQ RX3115. I've been a Palm user for years but I recently switched to a Windows Mobile device because I needed more features. I compared both a Palm and an iPAQ at the time I was ready to replace my old one and I really wanted a PDA with both bluetooth and Wi-Fi features.

The only one I found where I both liked the way it runs and look was t…


Originally posted at Secular Change on Oct. 21, 2005

Here's something to cheer you up after a hard day's work of selling.
Originally posted at Secular Change on Oct. 15, 2005

Here are a couple of Do's and Don'ts on selling

1. Don't sell on the phone (unless you can take an order over the phone).
2. Don't mail a brochure (unless you're in a mail-order business).
3. Don't sell in the living room.
4. Don't sell standing up (unless you're in a showroom).
5. Don't interrupt the client when they're talking.
6. Don't argue with the client.
7. Don't slouch.
8. Don't cross your arms, legs or feet.
9. Don't be late.
10. Don't continue to sell when the client is ready to buy.

1. Do set a definite appointment on the phone.
2. Do confirm the appointment at least a day before the appointment.
3. Do prepare a sequential, logical and clear presentation leading to the close.
4. Do sell on the dining room or kitchen table.
5. Do shut up and listen to the client.
6. Do ask a lot of clarifying questions.
7. Do sit straight and lean forward a bit.
8. Do dress neatly …

Top Insurance Salesman

Originally posted at Secular Change on Oct. 12, 2005

I saw this joke while browsing some websites.


Private Jones was assigned to the Army induction center, where he was to advise new recruits about their government benefits, especially their Serviceman's Group Life Insurance (SGLI). It wasn't long before the center's Lieutenant noticed that Private Jones had almost a 100% record for insurance sales, which had never happened before. Rather than ask about this, the Lt. stood in the back of the room and listened to Jones's sales pitch.

Jones explained the basics of the SGLI to the new recruits, and then said, "If you have SGLI and go into battle and are killed, the government has to pay $200,000 to your beneficiaries. If you don't have SGLI, and you go into battle and get killed, the government has to pay only a maximum of $6000."

"Now," he concluded, "which bunch do you think they are going to send into battle first?"…

Linux software

Originally posted at Linux Software on Jan. 31, 2006

Personal Finance

MoneyDance - Multi-platform (Win/Mac/Linux) personal finance software.

Office Suite
OpenOffice - Complete Office Suite comparable to Microsoft Office. Competely Free!

Instant Messenger
GAIM - Open source clone of AOL's instant messenger. Compatible with ICQ, Yahoo, AOL, MSN, Jabber, etc.

Web Browser
Mozilla Firefox - Open source web browser.

E-mail Client
Mozilla Thunderbird - Open source e-mail client.


Originally posted at Secular Change on Oct. 5, 2005

I've been looking for a CRM solution for my business for some time now. I currently use Microsoft Outlook, it's good enough to keep track of contacts and e-mails. But my needs has grown in that I needed to keep track of correspondence, quotes, updates and notes on what I did for my clients.

I tested Maximizer, ACT!, Filemaker and SugarCRM. Here is my take on each of them.

Maximizer 8

It's good enough for my needs, it's easy to use, syncs with MS Outlook, you can e-mail from within the program and attach files. It includes templates of common businesses and what data they need to keep track. You can also customize it to suit your needs.

The things I don't like about Maximizer is that it syncs with Palm OS only. I use a Pocket PC so I can't sync my data. The user interface is not the best, and it works with Windows only. It doesn't work with Mac or Linux. This is not a big deal since most people only use Windows …

Merging blogs

It's getting difficult to maintain several blogs and it's driving me nuts. I have blogs for computers, blogs for personal development and blogs for everything else.

Since the topics I write about are quite varied anyway and a couple of my blogs have been without updates, I decided to merge them all and write on this one alone.

I will still maintain a separate blog for my Canadian Immigrant guide "Welcome Canuck" as that deserves to have it's own site.

You'll be seeing a couple of older blogs here that doesn't seem to fit the timeline as I don't know how to merge these blogs together in Blogger. So I'm just cutting and pasting them.