Monday, May 22, 2017

Must-Haves for Your Kids at Home


Having kids at home is not easy. You need to get up early, prepare food and the things they need, and make sure they are well-taken care. More than that, you got to keep your condo in Manila or wherever you live, a child-friendly place. With all the furniture and things you have at home, can you honestly say your kids are safe and can be their happy place?

To help you in making your condo unit or house and rooms kid-friendly, here are some of the things you might want to consider having or doing:

 

Faucet Extender


You cannot carry your kids all the time, nor they can drag a chair and stand on it for them to reach the sink (which is not quite safe to do) so it’s better for you to have a faucet extender. What’s fun with this product is that it comes in different colors and designs too! Might appear to be nonsense since they can’t see it much yet. Nevertheless, having an extender on your main sink's faucet is a good step in making your home kid-friendly, especially if they are still small.

 

 

 

Rounded Furniture

Instead of having the usual rectangular or square-shaped tables and other furniture, you can try purchasing rounded or oval-shaped ones especially if your kids are just starting to crawl and walk.

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

Have Your TV Mounted

If your television is very easy to reach, you may want to consider having it mounted. We can see kids and adults tumbling down from TVs on tables, and we may find it entertaining, but it’s 0% safe. Aside from it’s harder to reach for kids, having your TVs mounted may be more comfortable when you are watching.

 

 

 

 

 

Fixed-cushion Sofa

Most of us own a removable couch cushion since it’s easier to clean. But since kids move a lot and there’s a tendency they can fall or slip thru the cushion, it’s better to have these cushions fixed. If you can’t afford to buy a new fixed-cushion sofa and still believe that removable cushions are still good, there are some ways on how to make the pillows more sturdy or fixed, but still removable. You can search online for different ways on how to prevent these cushions from sagging and slipping.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Electrical Outlets and Stove Knobs Cover


Electrical outlets cover can be easily bought in hardware and even in supermarket stores. Even though your kids’ fingers may not fit into the outlets' holes, due to curiosity and playfulness, they may stick metal conductors to those holes and may get electric shocks. Make sure that the covers that you would be buying are hard to remove for kids, but still easy for adults to adjust when needed.

Some kids can already reach your stove knobs. Aside from making sure you turn the gas tank off, you should also protect your oven. Most stove knobs are removable but replacing it then and now is quite a hassle so you can have it covered instead.

 

Cushion or Corner Guards

Edge and corner guards are a must-have especially if your furniture at home are mostly with sharp edges and corners, and your children are practicing to crawl and walk. Your little babies are prone to bumping so keep them safe by sticking or putting some cushion guards. You can also do your very own cushion guards using soft materials. Just be careful in using your materials because if it’s too mushy and squishy, the impact on bumping would still be the same. If it’s too hard, the kids will still get hurt just similar to when there are no cushion guards.






 

Box for Their Toys and Trinkets

More than making your house cleaner and better arranged, you are teaching kids to be responsible for their things. After playing with their toys, you can ask them to keep it properly and have their storage boxes secured.












(Credits to the rightful photo owners)



Thursday, May 11, 2017

Are You Ready to Buy a Condo?


You might be so interested in buying one of Manila properties, or if not, you are considering that condo for rent Bonifacio Global City. You are probably thinking of living on your own, settling down with your better half or contemplating on the thought of investing. We have different reasons and stories why we are tempted to buy or rent a condo unit. Whatever your rationale is, you should ask yourself: “Am I ready to buy a condo?”

Just like any other big things you do, buying a condo unit needs to be thoroughly reviewed. In this article, let us focus on your financial readiness. Time to review your bank accounts and assets, and see if you can afford to buy a condominium unit.

How much can I afford?

We can't give you a definite answer on that big question as different factors or variables affect individual capacity on buying a condo unit.

According to real estate experts, you can use the “2.5 rule” to estimate how much you can afford. How does it work? Note your net monthly income, and multiply it by 12. After getting the product, multiply it by 2.5, and the answer will be the maximum amount of condo unit you may afford to pay or buy.

Example:

Your net monthly income is ₱ 30, 000.
₱ 30, 000 x 12 = ₱ 360, 000
₱ 360, 000 x 2.5 = ₱ 900, 000
Maximum amount of condo you may afford: ₱ 900, 000

This is just a rough estimation on the amount of condo unit you may purchase.

Not all people can buy a condo unit with one-time-big-time payment (you must be really lucky!), so most of us go to our banks and see how can they finance our condominium. But don't forget how banks love to know the exact figures and calculations. They will carefully compute your income against your expenses. More than the computations and numbers, the banks also love rules. One of which is that only 25% of your net monthly income should be devoted to housing.

Using our previous example, given that your net monthly income is ₱ 30, 000, you can save ₱ 7, 500 for your condo unit. Unfortunately, if you are earning ₱ 30, 000, you might want to think of other ways of earning to afford your dream condo unit since the computed ₱ 7, 500 should cover not only the amortization but also the other costs of living and owning in a condominium.

You should also remember that we can quickly know your net income but not your expenses. Our spending practices vary from time to time. There are a lot of factors that may affect your budgeting – emergency needs, needs and wants, and other priorities.

Along the way of getting your dream condo unit, sacrifices are inevitable. If buying a condo unit is your top priority, you might postpone your expensive vacation or delay your plan of purchasing a new car, or other pricey liabilities.

Another thing for you to note is what will happen if you suddenly lose your primary source of income? Even though this may be out of your control, you should be able to keep your commitment to pay no matter what happens. That is why you should also have a generous amount of savings allocated for your condo unit expenses. You should have saved at least six months worth of your monthly amortization just in case you will be losing your job or have a drastic change in your monthly spending.

For example, your monthly allocation for your condo is ₱ 20, 000, you should have at least ₱ 120, 000 in your savings account.


After knowing all these things and thinking about your current situation, can you confidently say “yes” if you're asked, “are you ready to buy a condo?” No worries if you can't answer that yet. You got enough time to start looking for more cost-effective condo units or have other sources of income to finance your goal of owning a condominium.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Philippines as an Avian Archipelago

The Philippines is one among the very few countries that is considered to have mega-diversity, from flora and fauna specifically when it comes to birds and mammals. Birdwatching in the Philippines is the current trend among the birders worldwide. Let’s discover further what these birders love about the avian diversity in the country.

A look at the statistics

In the Philippines, the avifauna totals to about 657 species, 214 species of which are endemic. Of these endemic species, 68 are globally threatened, 52 are accidental or rare, and 5 are introduced by humans. Specifically, there are 48 non-passerines and 35 passerines.
According to a Science Daily article, biologists worldwide already considers the Philippines as a ‘biodiversity hotspot.’ They also claim that the country might have a unique bird species than what is already known. About 31% of all bird species found in the Philippines are regarded as Philippine-only (or can be found in the Philippines exclusively).

Where to bird watch

Further, there are more than 200 bird-watching sites in the country in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao with special mention in Palawan and Batanes.
The top bird-watching sites in the country are found in: Ilocos Norte, Cordillera Administrative Region, Cagayan, Pangasinan, Zambales, Bataan, Cavite, Pampanga, Laguna, Manila, Quezon, Bicol, Occidental Mindoro, Palawan, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Batanes, Cebu, Bohol, Samar, Bukidnon, Agusan del Sur and Zamboanga.
For those who occupy Manila properties, the closest bird watching paradises are in Mt. Makiling Forest Reserve in Laguna, Mt. Palay-Palay National Park in Cavite and Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Zone. Another avifauna haven is in Wildlife and Bird Watching Sanctuary in Nuvali where you can see hundreds of bird species including herons and otters.

When to bird watch


Birding is possible all-year-round. However, it is best to visit the Philippines between December and July (dry season). During the wet season, it is tough to spot the majority of the birds though you can still watch or observe some species like pittas. Not to mention, terrains can get muddy, traveling to and fro the site will be more of a challenge.
Some local bird clubs also conduct bird festivals from time to time. Birders can contact these bird clubs to determine schedules.
The best time to bird watch is during the morning when they start to search for food. You should be up before 5 am.

Must-watch birds in the country

In the city, the most commonly observed birds are Eurasian tree sparrow, Yellow-vented bulbul, Olive-backed sunbird, zebra dove, black-naped oriole, golden-bellied flyeater and Philippine pygmy woodpecker.
However, there are must-see birds as well. Top of the list is the Philippine eagle. Others are Palawan peacock pheasant, steere’s pitta, Philippine cockatoo, scale-feathered malkoha, rufous hornbill, green racquet-tail, spotted wood kingfisher, Apo myna and Bukidnon woodcock.

What to bring when bird watching

When you embark on bird watching in any of the sites mentioned above, make sure to bring binoculars and camera with you. You should also bring a guide and journal where you can document the experience.
Also, bird watching is a hobby that is not for everybody. Patience is a virtue, and it holds true for this hobby. If you cannot stand long hours of silence, you might as well give it up. Respect for the birds and their natural habitat are also necessary.


The Philippines is a home to hundreds of bird species, each one of which has its own distinct beauty. Our avian bionetwork is legendary, making the entire archipelago as the latest bird watching hotspot. There are many choices for bird watching sites even in and around the metro. While bird watching is a worthwhile activity, this is not for everybody. It takes drive patience and passion to be a bird watcher!