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Showing posts from 2015

Proud Filipino Nurses

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By Oliver Oliveros, Editor-In-Chief

Filipino nurses in New York are a dime a dozen, but contrary to the “lackluster value” that the idiomatic expression “a dime a dozen” connotes, these selfless caregivers’ service to their patients is invaluable.

Filipino nurses working abroad, especially in Manhattan and its nearby boroughs, are proud Filipino nurses. Shouldn’t we be proud as Filipinos like them?

On my second year as a graduate student at New York University (NYU), back in 2012, I found myself at one of the clinics at the NYU Health Center on 726 Broadway for my annual physical examination. As a Filipino nurse was about to administer a flu vaccine to me, she asked me (curiously), “Are you a Filipino?” I answered, “I could be easily mistaken for a Thai or a Vietnamese, but I’m proud to be a Filipino!” The nurse’s face lit up, because according to her, it’s seldom that Filipino students at NYU admit that they’re Filipinos.

“They seem to be embarrassed to reveal they’re Filipinos,” sh…

Hallmarks of Great Leadership

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By Oliver Oliveros, Editor-In-Chief

In various Filipino-American (Fil-Am) organizations, we’ve seen and occasionally worked with leaders with different leadership styles: some are autocratic; some are didactic while some are comfortable delegating tasks to their team members, which is a form of empowerment, especially to those who are sharing their time and talents as volunteers.

“Great leaders are aware of their own style and make the effort to learn how their style actually comes across to their team. They learn to flex their leadership style to individual team members so that they communicate and behave in ways that motivate and inspire,” said Michael Burke of MSR Communications.

Exemplary character traits make an effective leader.

Among those good traits, right off my head, are transparency (being honest), strategic thinking (knowing where you are now, and knowing where you are going), passion (living and breathing your raison d’être), and respect and trust in the workplace.

Our …

Finding Own Voice, Reinstilling Pride

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By Oliver Oliveros, Editor-In-Chief

There are two recurring themes in this issue of Fil-Am Who’s Who: (1) Finding your own voice in a cultural landscape that is so diverse—so that you will be heard and can make a ripple effect; and (2) Reinstilling pride in the Filipino people, especially in those who live, work, or study in the United States—no matter how cliché it is.

Besides the repeated mention, “finding your own voice” and “reinstilling pride in Filipinos” also share an important causal relationship:

Knowing your unique cultural identity sets you apart from the rest, which can make you become more familiar with yourself. “You can only love something that is familiar to you,” Doris Magsaysay Ho, Asia Society Philippines chair, pointed out to me in a recent interview. Essentially, that love for what is familiar can lead to nurturing a sense of pride and belonging.

The ongoing exhibition at Asia Society Museum dubbed as “Philippine Gold: Treasures of Forgotten Kingdoms” works exact…

Mama Renee's Living Legacy

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By Oliver Oliveros, Editor-In-Chief

Ollie David, who was the overall chair of Philippine fashion icon Renee Salud’s recent smash hit fashion shows held at Double Tree Newark Hotel in New Jersey and at the Philippine Center, the building that houses the Philippine Consulate General in New York, pinned down in her opening remarks that Mama Renee, a moniker for the well-loved fashion designer, who rose to fame in the ‘80s, has been “at the forefront of creating intricate masterpieces that weave native piña (pineapple fiber), abaca, and the Maguindanaon’s inaul, among others, even way before other Filipino and non-Filipino fashion designers started to claim that same exact design process.”

“Mama Renee’s original intent and his still ever-burning passion to promote only the Philippines’ indigenous fabrics in his fashion pieces makes him even more relevant till this very day,” Ollie added.

For Mama Renee, he did it—and still doing it—to show his enduring love for the Philippines and the Fil…

Know Your Rights as a Landlord

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First Published on PropertyAsia.ph

If you’re a landlord, there’s this high probability of encountering problems with your tenants every once in a while. Fundamentally, to solve any problem between you and your tenants, you have to know your basic rights, including the dos and the don’ts, as a landlord.

To help you further, we’ve listed some of these rights you have in your hands as a lessor:

Choosing a Tenant 

As a landlord, one of your major rights is to choose your tenants. You can do that by asking for income and credit information, rental history, and guarantees. You may also want to be picky about accepting tenants, but you can’t refuse a tenant based on one’s race, place of origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, religion, and disability.

If you want to make sure you’re choosing the right tenants, work hard on the inspection process and take time to know them personally before you accept them.

Collecting Deposit and Rent 

Before your tenants move in to your prop…

5 Great Reasons To Invest In Home Automation

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First Published on PropertyAsia.ph 

Home automation is the process of controlling basic home features remotely and automatically. Using smart devices such as a smartphone or a tablet, you can easily automate and schedule operation of security, heating, and airconditioning systems; water sprinkling and lighting equipment; and even different appliances at home.

Below, we’ve listed some of the ways on how home automation can make your life a lot easier.

Safety & Security 

One of the myriad reasons why people opt for home automation is because of safety and security. Since you’re able to control lighting and appliance functions, for instance, you can ensure your home will be safe from any wear out caused by electronic devices. By simply tapping your finger on your device, you can control all the lights in your house and make sure they are turned off when you’re away at night. You may also turn them on anytime you want.

What’s more, you can ensure security inside your home through sec…

Why 35 is the Ideal Age to Buy a House

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First Published on PropertyAsia.ph 

Everybody dreams of having their own home. But have you ever wondered about the perfect time to buy a house? Truth is, the perfect time depends on you. Recent studies say the ideal age to invest in a house is 35 though. While buying a house at a younger age is wonderful, doing it at 35 is still encouraged.

Here are the reasons why:

Financial Stability 

Typically, 35 is the average age when people become financially stable. Mostly in your 20’s, you’re still struggling to find a steady and profitable job that can help you save enough money for future investments. Additionally, if you’re in your 20’s, there are many things that divide your attention such as holiday travels, parties, and romantic dates, among others. In this stage, you’re still having fun; investing in something big isn’t on your mind yet.

In your early 30’s, on the other hand, you’re likely to have a stable job; but this stage could only be the beginning of you realizing to save som…

Five Ways To Survive An Earthquake

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First Published on PropertyAsia.ph

Recently, there has been an alarming rise in seismic activity in the Philippines. In the last month alone, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHILVOCS) recorded 305 earthquakes, in which two quakes were strong, six were mid-strong, and 441 quakes were weak.

The recent earthquake in Nepal, which killed more than 8,000 and injured more than 23,000 people alarmed not only Filipinos but also everyone else in the world.

Now the question is, “are we prepared for a strong earthquake?” Is the simple “drop, cover, and hold on” enough to keep us safe?

Here are some safety tips to follow before, during, and after an earthquake. 

Know What to Prepare 

Earthquakes are inevitable so you have to prepare yourself before it arrives. In emergency situations, such as earthquakes, you’ll likely need a first aid kit, flashlight, fire extinguisher, battery-powered radio, and extra batteries. Make sure you have all of these life-saving items. 

Stay …

How to Choose the Ideal LED TV for your Home

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First Published on PropertyAsia.ph

Slim design. Low power consumption. Adjustable backlighting. These are the basic reasons why most of us replace our outdated conventional TV with a more state-of-art LED TV. Apparently, choosing the best LED TV is not an easy task. With the many features and attributes of LED TVs, there are also numerous things you have to consider when shopping for the perfect TV.

Size 

Before you buy an LED TV, the first thing you should consider is its size. When choosing the right size of an LED TV, it’s always important to take note of the size of the room in which the TV will be placed. You may also want to consider your budget because the larger the size of the TV the more expensive it will be.

Viewing Distance 

The ideal viewing distance has something to do with the size of your TV; the bigger the TV the longer the viewing distance should be. If you have a huge LED TV, you definitely won’t like sitting in the front. To get the ideal viewing distance in inch…

Checklist Before Buying a House or Condo on Pre-Selling Stage

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First published on PropertyAsia.ph

Before putting your money in a house or condo on pre-selling stage, follow this checklist to help you in the buying process.

1. Check first if the house or condo you want to buy is registered with the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) and has been issued a license to sell by the same agency. The HLURB regulates and monitors all real estate developments such as vertical (condos) and horizontal (house and lots) projects.

2. Conduct a site survey to see if the location of the house or condo is acceptable to you and according to your liking and preference. Pay careful attention to its neighborhood and proximity to commercial, recreational, financial, and educational establishments.

3. Do a background check on the property developer and the people behind the company. Your best bet is the developer’s official website, which has a list of past, current, and future projects.

4. Know the terms of sale such as:
Reservation Fee – Know how much and va…

12 Ways to Survive the Hot Summer Without AC

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First published on PropertyAsia.ph 

As the scorching summer heat rises, the more we want to get out of the sun and stick inside our homes. Problem is that heat still penetrates the interior of the house, especially when the air conditioning (AC) is turned off. However, did you know you can still keep your homes cool during the summer even without the AC? Here’s how:

Before the day heats up, close the windows and other coverings; open them at night for cooler air. Keep the sunlight out of your home because that can minimize solar heat gain. Use light-colored curtains to reflect the sun’s heat. Arrange drapes and furniture so they won’t hamper the airflow. Inspect, clean, and replace your filters often because dirty filters may restrict the airflow. Cook, iron, and wash your clothes during the cooler times of the day, i.e. precook rice or meals in the evening. Turn off the lights in the house when not in use. Take note that lights, especially incandescent lights, give off too much heat.…

Smart Business: Choosing the Right Office Space

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First Published on PropertyAsia.ph

Finding the right office space for your business may seem like a daunting task–there are lots of things to consider before making any decisions.

To help you with this dilemma, we’ve listed some of the things you will need to deal with when choosing the right office space.

Location 

The location of your prospective office will be the first determinant of your employees’ convenience. For a business to grow and become successful, it’s vital that everyone is comfortable at work or else the quality of the work output will suffer.

For instance, an office located in an area where traffic is always slow will affect your staff’s level of comfort. Of course, you don’t want them to arrive at the office late and irritated as you know this will affect their performance and, eventually, your business. To save time and ensure convenience, choose a location where traffic is smooth and has easy access to public transportation.

Also, choose a location near the urban…

How Does RENT-TO-OWN Work?

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First published on PropertyAsia.ph 

While purchasing a home is a great investment, sometimes, it takes time before you’re financially ready for it. That’s why some people prefer to wait, save more money before finally buying a house. 

However, you can still own a home even if you don’t have the means now through rent-to-own.

But what exactly is rent-to-own?

To learn more about this housing opportunity, here are some basic facts about rent-to-own; how it works; its benefits; and some considerations you need to take into account.

How It Works 

Basically, rent-to-own is the process in which the potential buyer rents a home and after a certain period of time, the owner gives the buyer the opportunity to purchase the house. Typically, the length of agreement between the owner and buyer lasts one to three years. The buyer pays the rent, an option fee, and a rent premium, which can later minimize the downpayment for the house.

In some ways, rent-to-own works like a car lease: you give a dow…

Top 5 Laundry Tips For Homeowners (Or Practically Everyone)

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First published on PropertyAsia.ph

Most homeowners prefer to take their laundry to local laundromats, especially those who are too busy to wash their clothes at home. Nonetheless the trip to the laundromats, even though convenient, can cost a lot of money. That’s why some still choose to do their laundry at home. Though washing clothes at home can add up to your monthly bills, there are cost-efficient ways to save energy, water, and time.

Wash Clothes in Cold Water 
One of the most helpful ways to save energy and water is to use cold water instead of hot water, which takes up more energy, thus increasing your electricity and water bills. For dirty clothes, a 30°C cycle is enough. Additionally, washing clothes in cold water can actually make them last longer.

Always Do Full Loads 
When doing the laundry, it’s not practical to wash a few pieces of clothes in one go. Always do full loads to save water and energy. Doing full loads can save you 3,400 gallons of water each year; it also…

Must-See Eco-Friendly Condos in the Philippines

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First published on PropertyAsia.ph

The Philippines is now home to many real estate developments, especially high-rise condos. However, the proliferation of tall buildings has negative impact on the environment; that’s why most real estate developers and building contractors have started incorporating eco-friendly structure designs in their projects.

Basically, what makes a building eco-friendly is its energy efficiency and sustainability. According to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), to make a condo environment friendly, it has to maximize the use of natural resources, which promotes minimum waste of water, energy, and other natural resources. It also has to use construction materials that are recyclable and cost-efficient.

Below are three examples of eco-friendly condos in the country:


Paseo Verde, Las Pinas City

Though located along the busy Real Street, Paseo Verde still offers its residents a serene and green environment. Registered with the Philippine …

3 Ways Real Estate in the Philippines Will Benefit from the ASEAN Integration

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First published on PropertyAsia.ph 

In response to the increasing role of Southeast Asian countries in the global community, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders—11 of them, including the Philippines—signed the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) blueprint in November 2007 and officially formed the AEC earlier this year, in anticipation of a regional economic integration by year-end.

The main purpose of the ASEAN Integration is to create more jobs and income, and boost investments among member countries by creating a single market with free flow of goods, services, investments, and skilled workers.

With the ASEAN Integration just around the corner, expect a more robust economy and business environment, which can lead the way for an even healthier local real estate market.

The ASEAN Integration anticipates the following:

Increased Infrastructures 

The ASEAN Integration is expected to encourage highly-urbanized cities in the region to build more infrastructures—mostly c…

California Pizza Kitchen Treats Photo Contest Winner To Sumptuous Dinner For Two

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First published on PropertyAsia.ph
City of Mandaluyong—It seemed like the food was endless when Cecil Cruz, winner of property search portal PropertyAsia.ph’s “Most Romantic Valentine Arrangements at Home” photo contest, together with her elder sister Peng, was recently treated to a delectable selection of authentic Italian pasta and pizza at California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) in Shangri-La Plaza.
Her joining the contest, which had a dinner for two at CPK and a pair of tickets to the movie “Fifty Shades of Grey” as prizes, was actually unplanned. Cecil’s photo entry subjects, her recuperating dad, Roberto, 70, who suffered a heart attack at the height of typhoon Glenda last year, and her dad’s loyal, loving, and caring wife, Luisa, 64, posed before the camera after the former surprised the latter with a few plastic rose stems; a borrowed teddy bear; and some branded chocolates from the fridge clumped together impromptu!
Cecil said, “It was my dad’s simple gesture to thank my mom for she w…

6 Homeownership Costs You May Not See Coming

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First published on PropertyAsia.ph

Purchasing a property comes with inevitable costs. You might not have imagined these things prior to buying your new home, but expect these bills to land on your doorstep soon.

When owning a home, here are some of the additional costs you have to deal with:

Mortgage Fees

You worked hard on financing your home, and now you have to work harder to pay the mortgage fees, e.g. mortgage arrangement fees, indemnity costs, and broker fees. It’s a must to pay these fees on a monthly basis or else the bank or lender will order foreclosure of your property.

Property Insurance 

It’s a must to have a homeowner or hazard insurance that covers basic protection against fire and theft. A building and contents insurance is also important to protect your assets in case of an emergency or a major disaster. So choose only reliable insurance products from the most reputable insurance companies. 

Taxes 

You have to pay property taxes depending on the assessed value of your…

Are You Ready to Sell Your Home?

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First published on PropertyAsia.ph

Do you want to sell your home, but you’re not quite sure when’s the right time? To help you decide on when’s the best time to sell your home, here are some important things to keep in mind:

Would It Get Sold Right Away? 

If you were to sell your home right now, would it get sold right away? Think twice.

If you’re moving or relocating for a new job, you could try renting out your house first until you’re ready to put it on the market. By doing so, you’ll have enough time to adjust to your new environment and focus on home selling later.

Weather/Season 

Real estate experts say that the weather or the season may affect your chances of selling your property. Bad weather can prevent most home buyers from searching for new homes. Good weather, on the other hand, can prompt prospective buyers to go out and show up at your open house.

Housing Inventory 

The housing inventory in your market may affect your timing and chance of selling your home.

A real estate …

Did You Know the Bahay Kubo is the Original Ecohouse?

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First published on PropertyAsia.ph

Esteemed Filipino architect Francisco Mañosa, who designed the Coconut Palace at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) complex, and multi-awarded Italian architect Romolo V. Nati, CEO of Italpinas Eurasian Design and Eco-Development Corporation, so firmly believe that the bahay kubo (nipa hut), the iconic symbol of Filipino culture, is the Philippines’ original sustainable house.

“The bahay kubo is so beautiful in its simplicity and practicality. It harnesses the wind and the light coming from nature to provide its occupants basic comforts like cool air passing through its perforated walls without harming the environment,” said Nati in a statement.

Mañosa, on the other hand, even lives in his very own bahay kubo-inspired mansion that has only three posts or haligi, five one-inch coconut shell doors on the second floor, and a silong (basement), which Mañosa built in Ayala Alabang Village seven years ago.

A sustainable home design follows two es…

House or Condo? Which One Should You Choose?

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First published on PropertyAsia.ph 

If you’re a first-time homebuyer, you basically have two options available for a home: a house or a condo. Bear in mind that each one has its own advantages and disadvantages. So it all boils down to the homebuyer’s preferences.

However, before you make any buying decision, consider these important factors:

Lifestyle 

If you’re single, you may want to live in a bachelor’s pad, where you can throw a party anytime. In addition, most bachelors prefer living in a condo because it gives privacy and freedom.

If you’re living a more modern lifestyle, like most bachelors, a condo is also perfect for you because most condos are located in urban areas, where many amenities and luxuries are available.

But if you’re married or planning to start a family, a house is more ideal. Even more so if you’re ready to have kids. In this case, you may want to allocate a larger space, where your kids can play around without bumping into any furniture. Most residential co…

Top 3 Survival Tips When Living In A Small Space

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First published on CondoAsia.ph

Not everyone can afford a large house or condo. If you don’t have the means, you’re likely to compromise for a small space. However, living in a small space can be disheartening and sometimes annoying. Whether you’re single or living with your family, the difficulties of living in a small space are just the same. There are ways to get around with it though. Here are three survival tips when you’re living in a small space.

Learn How to Organize Your Home 
If there’s one thing you had to improve on, it’s your organizational skills. Unlike in a large place where you can put things wherever you want without sacrificing space, you have to make sure everything is well-organized in a small room.

If you live in a small space, your furniture choices are somewhat limited. But this doesn’t mean you can’t have the furniture you want for your home. You just have to organize them well and choose the furniture that will fit your living room, for instance; oversi…

PHOTO CONTEST: Win Post-Valentine Dinner For Two, Tickets to ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ By Sharing Your Most Romantic Valentine Arrangements At Home

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PropertyAsia.ph, your full-service property specialists, and California Pizza Kitchen (CPK), which recently reopened at Shangri-La Plaza, are holding an online photo contest among couples, aged 21 and above, who reside in Metro Manila, to share a photo or photos of their “Most Romantic Valentine Arrangements at Home.”

The winner—one couple only—will win a Post-Valentine full-course dinner for two at CPK, plus two tickets to see the most anticipated book-to-film adaptation of “Fifty Shades of Grey,” starring Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson, at Shang Cineplex.

Photo Contest Mechanics: 

• Take a photo or photos of your most romantic Valentine arrangement/s at home. i.e. romantic dinner table setting, rose petals on the bed. Make sure you submit photos that you own.*

• Email photo entries to ooliveros@propertyasia.ph or send a private message at facebook.com/condoasiaph on or before Monday, February 16, 2015. Include your names, age, where you took the photo, and a short description of eac…

Five Practical Ways To Find Your Ideal Neighborhood

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First published on CondoAsia.ph 

Checking out the neighborhood is one of the must-do items before buying a home. Instead of hiring a private inspector, we suggest that you study the neighborhood yourself.

To aid you through the process, we’ve listed below five important factors to consider when selecting the ideal neighborhood:

Crime Statistics and Safety 

Peace and safety should be at the top of your list. Who wants to live in a crime-prone neighborhood anyway?

To begin with, google how high or low the crime rate is in the neighborhood you’re investigating; if you want more information or to explore further, call the local police station.

Availability of Basic Amenities

Make a checklist of the amenities you think are most important to you. If you have children, make sure there are good schools in the area. Check out ratings and reviews of various local public and private elementary schools, high schools, even day care centers.

You may also need to consider the proximity of …

Three Ways To Make Money With Your Condo

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First published on CondoAsia.ph

Buying a condo that’s right for you is a good investment. But it’s somewhat disheartening to recount how much you initially spent on it and how much you’ll need to spend further on a monthly basis. Although your property’s value will eventually go up, you can’t just sit back and wait for that to happen. If these things do bother you, making money with your property can be a great idea.

Here are three ways to make money with your property, particularly your condo:

Rent It Out
This is the most obvious way to make money with your property. But renting out your condo can be very risky because it might lead to incurring damages or encouraging theft. As a landlord, you should be extremely picky when it comes to tenants; you should also insure your property.

If you’re renting out your condo, do it on a monthly basis or a 12-month lease. If you’re going to rent it out for business, i.e. set it up as an office space, you can still have a place to go home to …

Five Worst Mistakes First-Time Condo Buyers Make

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First published on CondoAsia.ph

Investing in a condo can be one of your major life achievements; but it can also be one of your biggest downfalls, especially if it’s your first time, and you commit the same mistakes that some people did before buying their first homes.

For your first purchase to be successful, be cautious of your decisions, and avoid these five mistakes:

1. Not Getting Mortgage Approval 

Before purchasing a home, you must first secure a home loan and get your mortgage approved. Sadly, some first-time buyers fail to qualify for a mortgage due to poor credit history. If you’re applying for a mortgage, don’t secure credit for a new car or a bedroom furniture simultaneously. New financial obligations can lower your credit score.

Never co-sign a loan while you’re trying to close a home loan. Don’t act as a guarantor for someone else’s debt. Accumulating more debts can only diminish your mortgage eligibility.

Also don’t accept a new job offer while you’re applying for a…