The Buzz over Pacquiao

My husband was driving fast to catch the fight of Manny Pacquiao and Ricky Hatton but when someone called him that the British fighter only succumbed for two rounds, he decided to slow down and will watch the reply.

When we arrived and unloaded our bags after a long trip in Boracay, I checked Facebook and all I read was about Pacquiao and Hatton. And on the news, it was all about him..so what’s the fuzz?

I’m not a fan of Pacqiuao as well as boxing – you can’t blame me, I’m a woman who is more interested in other things rather than boxing. But I find it amazing how this fighter from Saranggani Province in the southern part of the Philippines can unite the country…rich and poor..old and young…he is part of Filipinos’ lives.

They say that there is no crime when he fights and during his last fight with Ricky Hatton, there was one crime recorded…and there is an unofficial “ceasefire” between the military and rebels just to watch him fight..

Life may be so hard but a a fight from a boxer with the humblest beginnings can stun the whole nation. As I have said, I am not a fan but it I have to admit that Pacquiao amazes me in some ways…how he fights and the effects he can cast to his countrymen..

I would not be shocked if the news about him will run for 1 week or two at least I wont hear any politicians trying to outdo each other. For  second, Filipinos feel proud of themselves with their fighter defeating champions from other countries and even breaking records. A boxer legend, pound for pound king—he is the people’s hero.


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Blocks as Wall Decorations


As Featured On EzineArticles

Do you find it hard to decorate your wall? Or are you seeking new and trendy ways to spice up your house?

Decorating your wall

Decorating a barren and empty wall is always a hard task for most people even among interior designers. Wall decorations must not only make the space beautiful but must have some character and personality. You are left with a mission to make a dull and empty space into something inviting and warm.

There are many ways to decorate a wall using many materials from paint to frames in which some people would find these materials and wall decorating ideas too common. These individuals would turn into something unique just to show the owner’s personality but some of these decorations or accents may no longer handy in the long run. Paints would wear out, while frames and pictures will become dull. Paintings would cost more and you can’t afford them. Others would no longer be trendy in a few years and would simply look unflattering.

Here’s good news. There is a new trend in wall decorating that is not just unique but long lasting. These are decorative blocks.

Decorative blocks

Blocks on walls? Yes, you heard it. Blocks are new wall decorations that are trendy in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. These decorative blocks are made of plaster making each block light weight and durable. Each block measures 6” x 8” and only weighs 2 lbs each.

There are many designs to choose from depending on your mood or style. You can have those blocks with traditional numbers and letter designs or have those blocks with beach-inspired designs. There are also designs that are inspired from arts and architecture of the past for those individuals who want to be classic yet elegant at the same time. Surely, these blocks are definitely new and exciting ways to spice up your walls!

On the other hand, blocks are easy to place just like any wall decorations. These blocks come with built-in holes for easy hanging. You only need a screw or a nail securely mounted against the wall. Also, you have to measure the space that you want to decorate and determine the number of blocks needed giving allowances to spaces for each block. Blocks look best when displayed in groups for like paintings and any exhibit they tell a story. You can even rearrange the blocks if you want something you or to change the mood in your room.

To end up, using decorative blocks as wall decorations with its uniqueness and boldness will not just transform your wall but the whole room and house as well. Just a few pieces of blocks on your walls are a great statement to your whole house!

Visit http://www.nostalgiablock.com for more designs that can surely fit your style.

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Freelance Writing and Your Life

After so many months, I chatted with another freelance writer and in one of our conversations, she asked me how I juggled freelance writing and family life.  Even if you are in a different craft, freelance writing can be confusing. As I have mentioned in my earlier posts, it is hard to put a line between work and your personal life, even if you are still single – in a relationship or not.

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Why is it important? The obvious reason might be to be focused on what you are doing without your kid/s, asking you to play with her/him.But also, to be productive; many freelancers are guilty of spending too much time on the net without working. And in this field of freelancing, no work means no pay.

So here are my tips for those who want to be productive as well as focused in their freelance work.

Set a schedule


This was my answer to that freelance writer who asked me about juggling my work and family. Like any job, you must have a schedule- everyday and every week.

On my case, I try not to write during weekends unless I have urgent things to do or I have some free time. I dedicate weekends for my whole family especially for my husband who works so hard during the whole week.

Also, I work when my son is sleeping and when I’m done catering my husband’s needs- two hours in the afternoon and after 10pm. So on the average, I work at least 5 hours a day.

Shifting schedule with the nanny

I don’t wake up at 6am since I sleep late at night working. Also, freelancers with kids especially mommies must not totally leave her/his kid to the nanny. What is the purpose of working at home if you can’t spend time with your child?

I leave my son with the nanny in the morning usually from 6am ( when he wakes up) to 10am. And in the afternoon ( 4pm-6pm).

On my part, I play with him before lunch and his afternoon nap. When he wakes up, I play and eat snacks with him before giving him to his nanny for his playtime with our neighbors. Before dinner, I spend time with him until he falls asleep.

Inform or give the yaya an idea of your work and stress that you don’t want to be disturbed as much as possible. You may be able to  spend time with your child during ” your schedule” as a break or just to spend time with your son but make it sure with the nanny that she should handle your child during those times.

Train your child

Children can be easily be trained and taught. It was easy for me since I started this business of freelance writing when my son was still a little boy; so he is already used to Mama working on the keyboard and taking down notes.

My son knows our schedule and will not bother to knock on the door in my “little office”. I also close the door to show that “Mama is working”. But if I hear that my son wants me ( without being bratty or spoiled); I automatically stop and cater to him for a few minutes.

For those who have older children, tell them that you have to work and will play with them in a little while. If you are not working or done, spend time with them. This way, they will know that you really want to be there as long as you have the time.

Let them work with you

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This works with those with older kids. Children   want to imitate adults and if they “disturb” you,   give them something to work on. I let my son scribble or color his books if he wants to stay      with me. I also have an old laptop that he can        use pretending doing what I’m doing.

The tips above may let you organize your working schedule with kids around.

To end up, I feel very contented with my life as a career woman and as a woman. In this craft of freelance writing, it is a matter of setting priorities and making most of the time you have.


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Freelance Writing: Do’s and Dont’s when Writing Articles

This post is to answer someone who asked me about the “do’s and dont’s of Article Writing”. Thank you for the idea…here it is. I hope you will learn something to boost your career in freelance writing.

In general, there are two things to remember when writing any article; they must be original and of high quality. This post will elaborate so please read on…

1. Copied work and plagiarism.
To be frank, we are not that trained to make our work original way back in our thesis, essays and term papers. It’s like we are tempted to copy some sentences and add it to our project so it can become 5 pages or we are “confident” that our teacher may not know. Well, as a teacher; we always know. The words and ideas are too perfect and not that coherent with the rest.

In freelance writing, clients are very anxious that you will give them copied work. In the end, its their names who will be jeopardized and “flagged” by Google. But there are times that we have the same wordings to other works even though we really made it. The easiest is to check your work with the online tool, Article Checker or Copyscape if you have it before submitting to your client. Make the necessary changes to make it 100% original.

2. Spend time researching for your topics.
Some might consider “researching” for your topic a waste of time especially if you are writing a very short web content article. But researching by getting some key points and facts can save you time when writing. You must have some piece of paper and jot down all the necessary facts that are important for your article. This can save you time once you are writing your article. You will not be “lost of words” and your ideas are there already; you just have to combine them all.
3. Never rush your articles.
I have experienced being so loaded with many assignments because I got addicted to getting projects ( I will discuss this in another post; kindly remind me..lol) that I don’t have time to write them all in the best that I could. If you rush your articles, it will turn out so mediocre and you lose your client.

4. Make your article “readable”.
Online article writing gives opportunity to those people who are not ” walking dictionaries” to publish their works. Majority of people who use and read contents in the internet are just like us so keep your words simple. I read in one article that your work should not prompt our readers to look for a dictionary. Unless you are writing some specific articles like insurances, medicals and the likes where you need to add some jargon.
5. Grammar and Spelling.
Review your basic grammar in case you forgot. Do not rely on the spelling and grammar check of your computer since it can outlook some errors. Manually edit and check your work. Read and read your article before submitting it to your client.

6. Avoid “Fillers”.
A client asked you to write a 600-word article about “losing weight” and you are completely lost with words; you are still with 400 words. Some writers would make their sentences to long and repeating some ideas over and over again just to reach the number of words. Now, this is not good especially for readers, this will no longer interesting to read. Your work should be concise and direct to the point.

7. Make headings
To make your article readable, make at least one heading. For example your writing an article about “Losing Weight”; your article should look like this

How to Lose Weight

__________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________

Foods to Eat and Avoid
___________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________

Exercises to Start with
___________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________

Above, you made two headings which are ” Foods to Eat and Avoid” and “Exercises to Start With”. Having headings will only make your article organized but it can be easier for you to meet the number of words required. So it is easy to make a 600- word article if you do this; just allocate the number of words to each part.

There you have it, some of the things to keep in mind when writing any article. If you have other ideas, feel free to comment…


Earn and Write!

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Holy Week Ideas for Crisis “Victims”

Holy Week is coming!

But wait, when everyone is planning their beach holidays, you know deep inside that you might pass on this one. With the global crisis which led to many companies in Philippines letting their employees work 3 times a week to lessen the costs, many of us cannot afford to travel.

Don’t be in distress for there are many ways to spend your Holy Week without spending a whole paycheck or swiping your credit card. Here are some of my suggestions:

Get some zzzs

Since getting back to work after the Christmas holidays, you might have been working hard or partying hard that you miss to sleep for 10 hours. Yup, 10 hours and surely you didn’t get enough of sleep.

So for one week, rejuvenate and sleep for 10 hours. So when you get back to work, you will look refreshed sans under eye circles without spending a penny!

Get into fitness and wellness

Lately, my friends and I have been exchanging fitness regimen and we jokily admit that as we grow older, we have become health-conscious. If you are not heading out somewhere, you can get back to shape without going to the gym.

Stretch and walk around your area. You can dance your heart out.  Do some yoga or some aerobic exercises from YouTube.

Eat healthy

Observing the Lenten Season means abstaining from eating meat – pork, beef and chicken as a way of sacrifice. So follow this church doctrine and you will not just fulfill a religious duty but giving your body a favor.

Eat your veggies and fruits and be friends with tuna. This way, you can get back to your skinny jeans in no time!

Bond with your family

You leave your house before the sun rises to catch the bus or train and arrives very late almost everyday. And during weekends, you either hang out with your friends or sleep and rest ignoring some quality time with your parents and the rest of the family.

Now, you have 5 days to eat with them, at least during lunch and dinner. There is nothing more enjoyable than sharing a laugh with your family and just let time pass. Take this opportunity to sit with your family for more than an hour and just talk and laugh.

Go to Church

Of course, Holy Week is a religious affair and you must at least go to Church in the week. You may go for “Visita Iglesia” which means visiting 7 ( I’m not sure) churches and pray the Station of the Cross.  I tried this last year and it is very therapeutic, not to mention fun going from one church to the other.Attend a procession and try to identify the saints from different wheeled pedestal.

Contemplate

Lastly, take this time to just breath and relax. Have some “alone time” and recall your dreams and what you have done to achieve those.  Meditate and internalize how you were as a child, a friend and a lover perhaps.

You may not have tan lines when you go back to work but you have full of energy to start a new working day felling well rested and refreshed!!!


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Why I Stick with Freelance Writing

After a year of working as a school teacher, I have decided to quit my job to spend time with my baby. I have many guilt on being far from him during his infancy and I remember going to church, praying to still have a career while spending time with my son. And just recently, my husband asked about how I’m doing with my freelancing and if I’m happy working at home. A simple smile on my face is an assuring answer to my husband.

Money and time – that what I asked for. And I have it now, as a freelance writer. With the bliss I have now juggling both career and family time, many times I regret not to know about freelancing writing. I was so ignorant!

I forgive myself and I just enjoy the benefits of being a freelance writing. I don’t have a boss, I don’t have to be presentable to work and I don’t have to sacrifice my son. My clients are my clients, they can’t nag me when they are stressed or I don’t have to deal with parents questioning about their child’s grades. I don’t have to spend the night preparing my presentations but rather, reading “Gulliver’s Travel” to put my son to sleep.

time for swimming, anytime of the week
time for swimming, anytime of the week

And to top it all, I earn more than I used to be and now contributes to our household expenses, not to mention sending my brother to college. There might be some disadvantages but I am more inclined to the benefits of freelance writing.

Hence, I highly suggest mothers to work as a freelancer or a freelance writer if you are into this carft. I still hire a nanny to help me when I have tons of articles to write but I have lots of time to answer to my child’s cries.

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Freelance Writing: Five Disadvantages to Consider

Be you own boss!

Earn while at home!

Career while spending time with your kids!

We often hear these phrases attached to the world of freelancing and with the advent of modern technologies and globalization, more and more people have shifted to work as freelancers.

And one of the most common group of freelancing, is freelance writing. Freelance writing doesn’t require that much skills especially in terms of technology compared to freelance web designers. And as long as you have the edge in writing, you are set to go.

But before you join the bandwagon of freelance writing or freelancing, here are five disadvantages of freelance writing to consider.

No work, no pay

As a freelance writer, you are paid for every work you have done.  If you are a regular employee, you love the long holidays and weekends knowing that you can take a break from your job and your income will not be affected, but this is not the case in freelance writing.If you get sick and can’t work, you will not have money.

With this, it is hard to find financial stability if you work as a freelancer. One must be keen in their finances since their is no assurance that you can receive a certain amount of money in a specific time like regular employees do.

No Benefits

Yeah, you will have plenty of time and you don’t have to rush to your office each morning but there are some benefits that companies offer that is hard to have if you are into freelance writing. These include sick leave, insurances, bonuses and many more.

Looking for Clients

There are many people who try to become freelance writers but when the reality of looking for clients sinks in, they give up. Looking for projects and clients is perhaps the main challenge in the world of freelancing. This is the reason why you must do your best in every project to have the so-called ” repeat clients” or referrals.

You have to shoulder the expenses

If you work as a freelance writer, you must have your own computer with a stable internet connection. Paying for your monthly internet bill is now deducted from your income as a freelance writer. Aside from that, you have to shoulder electricity and you can no longer have free coffee like in regular offices!

Boundary between your personal life

Working as a freelance writer may sound promising since it can give you more time for your family but you must set a limitation. This is particularly true if you have kids around while you are working at home. Since your office is just in your house, it is sometimes hard to separate your tasks as a homemaker, mother or wife and as a freelance writer.

Also. most freelance writers found themselves working during weekends or holidays when they are supposed to spend it with their kids or spouse.

To end up, this list of disadvantages of freelance writing is not to discourage you but to let you weigh things up for not all are suited to become freelance writers or freelancers in general. This list is also helpful for you to know what to expect if you decide to be one.


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Ash Wednesday: Time of Penance


Today is Ash Wednesday  which is a significant time in the Holy Catholic Calendar. When we speak of Ash Wednesday, we often think of the crosses on our forehead but it is more than that.

What is symbolizes

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Lenten Season, towards the crucifixion of Christ to save man from his sins. The Lent is regarded by the Church as a very important season in its year just like Christmas. During Lenten Season, the Church celebrate many important events in its year.

This season speaks of penance and as we accept the cross in our forehead, let us remember the sins that we did both to God and to our fellow men.

Lenten Season

The Lenten Season spans to more than 40 days with the Holy Week as the its focal point. It started with the Ash Wednesday and ends with Easter Sunday when Christ is believed to have resurrected from the dead.

Catholics observe many practices during the Lenten Season aside from penance like abstinence, fasting, alms giving and many more. With the modern times, Catholics can do their penance is many ways. They sacrifice something that they usually have like refraining from eating red meat or by refraining from having worldly pleasure.

With the spread of Catholicism across the globe believers from different countries have their own ways and practices. It does not really matter, as long as we know and understand the underlying faith in our actions.

The Lenten Season may not be as solemn as it was observed before but what matters is that, we people who live in this modern world still believe that there is an Omniscient One above who came as man to save us.

May Catholics remember the spirit of the Lenten Season not just during Ash Wednesday or during Holy Week but throughout the year…

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How to Jumpstart your Freelance Writing


I have encountered many people both online and in the real world on how to become a freelance writer. I have been in this business not for a long time but I am very contented with it. Finally, I found a career that I can have both money and time for my family particularly for my toddler.

But most of the people who want to enter the world of freelance writing are not writers themselves. But they have written some blogs or maybe their own journals and diaries. Hence, they have to start as a freelance writer from scratch.

Here is a step-by-step procedure to get your career as a freelance writer a start..

1. Recall your writing skills

This should be the first thing that an aspiring freelance writer should take into consideration especially if the last time you were into writing was during your essay final examination in college :-0. Remember, clients are into the quality of work that you can render to them. So how can you do this?

  • Start writing! This is the only way to do this. Start with what you did when you were little, you can write about your day or anything in your thoughts in a piece of paper or in a notebook just to be back in sync with your writing.
  • Create a blog. Since you will be dealing the online world then your writing must be available online. There are many free blogs like Blogger and WordPress which are user-friendly. Then try to write a piece which is at least 300 words and increase this as fast as you can. When applying for jobs, most articles would run for 500 words and some would demand 3-5 articles each day!

2. Prepare your portfolio.

A portfolio has all your past work like articles. It is not enough to attach a word document of your article when applying for a writing job. As mentioned, there are many free blogs that you can use. Your blog can be your portfolio if you have articles in it or you really have a separate portfolio that potential clients can refer to.

Like this blog can already be my portfolio for some clients. For my website, I have a menu for my portfolio, I have listed down my articles that has been published; my clients will just have to clink on the URL and viola! my article!

3. Get your Paypal account

Most writers cannot move on with their career as a freelance writer simply because they don’t have a Paypal account. Paypal is still the most common payment method online though I use Payoneer often since they have higher exchange rates. For Paypal, you need to have a credit card or go to apply for an EON Cyber Account with UnionBank. It would take at most ten days to validate your Paypal account. While you still don’t have Paypal, you can use your bank account or Gcash.

4. Look for clients

This is one of the most time-consuming part of this industry. Even if you already an established writer, just like any business you need to look for clients. You can either market your site or blog or look for them by yourself. For a start log on to freelance sites like Odesk or Getafreelancer. Some find it hard and long to land on their first assignment, but it is worth it. You can start carving your niche in these sites as a freelance writer.

Now, while waiting for your assignment from freelance sites, you can look for small scale writing jobs. Believe me, the pay is very low but as I said, make this as an investment to enhance your skills and to learn about the world of freelance writing. There are some writers who need help from others to meet deadlines. You can visit pinoymoneytalk, Entre Pinoy Atbp. and even friendster!

After you land your first assignment, please do your best. Like any business, repeat client will make your business grow; on my experience, my first client is still with me and she keeps bringing income to my wallet. So never let go of this opportunity!

Write and Earn!

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