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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Financial literacy - a positive approach in gaining wealth for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW)

Fredolin P. Aguinaldo – Doha, State of Qatar

Courtesy of Jessie Gabiola Ako Pinoy president 
Philippine embassy officials in Qatar recently lauded leaders of Filipino community organizations who are gaining recognition through their financial advocacy program that encourages their compatriot Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) and their family to go into business.

Their latest training program is in line with the vision of the Philippine Ambassador to Qatar, H.E. Crescente Relacion in equipping OFWs with the knowledge to save.

The training was first offered to the leaders of different Filipino organizations in Qatar who then prepared their own training syllabus and modules to be used and implemented by their respective members.

The training was conducted by several Filipino financial advocate members from Overseas Filipino Investors and Entrepreneurs Movement (OFIE-M) and – Pinoy WISE Movement (Pinoy Worldwide Initiative on Savings and Investment and Entrepreneurship) in partnership with the Philippine Embassy. It was held at the premises of the new Philippine Embassy in Jalaih area, Doha, Qatar on September 25, 2013.

About ten (10) community leaders representing their organization attended the training program.  Attendees were compromised of engineers, financial analysts, well respected educators, technical staff, health care professionals and government institution representatives – the like of the Social Security System (SSS) and Home Development Mutual Fund or Pag-ibig.


Filipino community leaders first batch attendees

The program kick started with Mr. Jun Villena – United Filipino Organization in Qatar Advocacy & Training member and moderator of the day, who introduced Engineer Danilo de la Torre – pastor, Pinoy WISE Movement member who leads the invocation.

United Filipino Organization in Qatar or UFOQ Ways and Means Committee officer Mr. Edd Alcantara gave a brief summary about the chosen speakers and the topics to be discussed during the training as part of his opening address. The crowd was eager for more so when Mr. Villena asked everyone to introduce themselves and speak out, the participants were more than willing.

The author, who was also present, started the ball rolling with a “Gusto kung yumaman, papaanu ko gagawin yun?” (I want to be rich, how can I make it possible). Another attendee, Mr. Pol said, ”Wala akong ka-ide-ideya kung papaano ako mag-sisimula” (I don’t have that slightest idea how to start).

De la Torre took these questions into consideration and started off with these words: My friends, you are not alone – there are thousands and thousands of OFWs out there who are in the same shoes as you are now, it is a good thing that I am now rich",  he laughed as he started his discussion.

Contents of his presentation depicted the way of life by most Filipinos working abroad: that OFWs are easily being exploited, that they tend to change their lifestyle easily because money sources are easily available now and how they end up returning home with little or no savings and sadly, easily being attracted to others tending to forget his/her family values – a typical story of OFWs abroad.

With this in mind, de la Torre discussed about the impact of social reasons regarding Filipinos migration and investments. Aided by impressive technical knowledge clearly seen via his presentation, that is seemed to surpass those being used by prominent speakers worldwide and his expertise on his topic he was well received by the public.

During coffee break, the writer had the chance to ask a lady volunteer on how they acquire funds for learning materials, freebies that are given and food that are served during trainings. It is indeed a classic example of volunteerism, simply because it is being financed mostly from the group's budget wherein a huge chunk comes from generous Filipino entrepreneurs who believes in their financial literacy training program. This well mannered and very accommodating lady was none other than Atty. Daisy Tingson who acts in her capacity as adviser of OFIE-M.

The writer also got to talk with a very important person whom he believed to be one of the pillars of the on-going advocacy program. He is an engineer by profession and later talked about his group's on-going training program at POLO/OWWA office at Bin Omran held every Monday evening.

“OFIE-M has been continuously providing training to our college OFW for the past year dubbed as “Seminar on Financial Literacy” together with various related topics until participants acquire enough knowledge to go into business when they plan to go back home for good,". He was revealed to be Engineer Julius Espina – founding member of OFIE-M who steers their group into helping others to succeed.

The next speaker claimed to be very gentle – in fact, they always addressed him as “Ginoong Billedo”.  His vast experiences in foreign affairs gave him all the right to tackle some of the key issues regarding the social cause of migration. His presentations was aided by factual data gathered from different government posts so that the agencies tasked to oversee the welfare of Filipinos abroad have clear idea on how they can best serve the needs of OFWs. Richard T. Billedo is the present Philippine Embassy Consular Assistant, Cultural Officer and Attaché in Qatar.

In a nutshell, the training program’s main topic was that of issues regarding the social causes of migration and how to cope with problems during their stay abroad. "Financial literacy is another key topic that the organizing committees tackled during the training program - just as more-and-more OFWs are now beginning to realize their best options to handle their finances productively, Filipinos in Qatar have to take advantage of this kind of training program", Billedo said. 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Pinoy Ads Qatar (PAQ) Grand Eyeball Party

By: Fredolin P. Aguinaldo – Doha, State of Qatar




Nowadays sharing experiences with friends near or far can be done by a mere click of a button. For people abroad, the gap between them and their loved ones back home are now linked by modern technology. In Qatar, virtual friends had a chance to see each other and come together in a Grand EB party as what Pinoy Ads Qatar (PAQ) did for their online members.

Held at the picturesque beach of Wakrah City in July 05, 2013, Pinoy Ads Qatar (PAQ) - the first and No.1 Filipino on-line virtual market place in Qatar – hosted their 1st grand eyeball party with their active online members and friends to celebrate with them the growth and success of their group.

Spearhead by the webpage creator Ms. Minda S. Obeidat along with her fellow administrators, revelry started at around 6:00 AM and lasted until the wee hours of the next morning. Coupled with good food brought by the members, good times were shared by each and everyone while getting to know more about each other. When karaoke time came, the stage suddenly became a showdown amongst fellow members who completely ignored the sun’s heat and the scorching sand alongside the beach.

The event was generously sponsored by some of its members, who gave away prizes as well. The merrymaking was also covered by ABS-CBN Global Ltd. correspondent through admin Delfin Montenegro and Jen Pacleb respectively who happens to be active members of the group.  

The party was meant as a thanksgiving occasion for the dynamic on-line entrepreneurs of Qatar and a way of solidifying the relationship between members and supporters who share their time, views and effort towards the continued development of the group with their combined passion in entrepreneurship and love for social networking.

Evelyn L. Aguinaldo, an active Real Estate property seller paid tribute to the community members and said: “When Ms. Minda S. Obeidat started the group through FB, she had no idea that it would become this big and that it would be a venue for budding entrepreneurs like us to sell and offer services”. She was also quick to note that she enjoys the group because everyone shares their opinions regarding different issues, from personal problems like love life to views about current events in politics.


Pinoy Ads Qatar (PAQ) was created on September 05, 2011 by Ms. Minda S. Obeidat It is a place of trading in Facebook. You can sell, buy or swap your products and offer services with any interested members. To date, 13,406 active members are listed and hundreds of new members are added on a daily basis. In recent admin discussions, by-laws have been amended and to keep track of the activities of its members, additional administrators has been pre-drafted who are hoping to be of service to other members very soon.


For PAQ EYEball Video CLICK Image


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Friday, May 10, 2013

Green Architecture: The in-thing in Real Estate Investments in the Philippines



With Elements Eco-Efficient building in mind, the developer’s perspective in urban eco-living will be envisioned on their up-coming project at the Nerou Tower and the Aire Tower which is tragically located at the heart of Metropolis along Shaw Boulevard, Kapitolyo, in Pasig City.

Elements Eco-Efficient Residences Invites all kind of conveniences and amenities to complement your modern unban living. Resort -style swimming/lap pools, child-safe indoor playground, theater room, a spa and wellness center, fully equipped gym, Wi-fi lounge, business center and boutique mall with cozy restaurant and quaint shops are just step away from your elements.

In order to see and hear the features and award winning specs of the above project themselves despite everyone’s busy schedule shifting from work and social activities including that of OFW’s right to choose and vote for their bet in National and Local post trough the absentee voting in various locations in Qatar, a sizable crowd of fifty (50) prospective investors gathered for the grand launch of the newest landmark in Shaw Boulevard was held last night at Emerald Function Room at Holiday Villa Hotel & Residences Doha, Qatar.
The organizing head of the event Ms. Evangeline A. Yia thanks everyone who participated in the preparations including those logistics made by the sales team of Qatar and further, welcomes all visitors.

Ms. Doreen L. Carlos talks about the art of investing and found that her exemplary professionalism on how she managed to keep the crowd alive and on fire and to further amuse those heckling questions from the crowd makes her very successful in her chosen field.  To top it all - She further says, as OFWs one has to learn to manage their finances well and channel their extra income trough Real Estate investing.

Charmaine addressing the crowd
The beauteous Ms. Charmaine Ibanez from the Elements Eco-friendly Residences said that due to the project buyability, the zoning requirements in the area has been slightly altered to accommodate the futuristic twin-building design that has been up-graded to 28 floors iconic green architecture who then expertly explains all the technical aspect and building details of the project.
Prices ranges from P2.0 million to P8.3 million with livable areas from 23 square meters to 90 square meters. 

The site preparations are now in full-swing according to her and buyers is set to move-in by December 2015 she continues.

International food menu was served to the delight of everyone attending the presentation – and while everybody is busy having dinner; Ms. Ibanez gladly announces buyers who confirms their interest on the project.


The presentations last past 10:00 P.M, Doha time and by gauging Filipinos interest in Real Estate investments – there is still a lot of room for Real Estate investments by our own OFW’s in Qatar to whom I recon – will be a delight to those more than hundred-fifty (150) home-grown property developers in the Philippines.

Friday, March 29, 2013

PAQ members donate blood


By: Fredolin P. Aguinaldo – Doha, State of Qatar


Courtesy of Jen Pacleb - ABS-CBN correspondent, Doha, Qatar

In order to achieve optimum stock level of blood - Hamad Medical Corporation mobilized their resources after various campaigns urging Qatar residents to donate blood.

To serve the request of different organizations, Hamad Medical Corporation deployed mobile blood donation centers at strategic locations in order for Qatar residents to have easy access in joining the bloodletting program.

Today (still going on at this writing) through the initiative of Ms. Minda S. Obeidat, creator of Pinoy Ads Qatar along with PAQ administrators, the Filipino Workers Cultural and Development Center at Bin Omran, Doha, State of Qatar was swarmed by eager Filipino volunteers to donate blood. Seventy (70) registered individuals, comprises mostly of PAQ members along with fifty-one (51) members of the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers, Inc.,  passed the initial screening and donated the greatest gift another human can receive, life.  


Ms. Minda S. Obeidat said that as a health professional who works and has lived in Qatar for most of her life, it is her vision to help everyone especially our “kabayans” (fellow Filipinos) to have access to the best medical care offered by the State that is almost free-of-charge and subsidized payments for most of the medicines given to its residents trough various government health care facilities in Qatar.

Also in attendance was the resident officer of Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), OWWA-Officer in Charge & Project Director Mr. Philip T. Alano who assured that donors and volunteers had a pleasant stay at the center.

By giving blood – one is regenerating a healthy supply of blood in his/her own system. Sharing a little bit of one’s time, a single blood donation can make the difference between life and death. This just proves that not only superheroes have the ability to save lives. 

Note:
The author is a big ”C” survivor since 2010 who spent his medical treatments at leading health care providers of St. Luke’s Medical Center, Philippines and National Center for Cancer Care and Research, State of Qatar and still productively working at Qatar Petroleum since 1985. 


CLICK Image for ABS-CBN Report



Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Pinoy Pop (P-Pop) Love Songs: Mga awit at Kuwento ng Pusong Pilipino - Featuring Fred & Bellen Love Story

By: Fredolin Pagdilao Aguinaldo – Doha, Qatar

CLICK Image to see the VIDEO

As part of "Himig Handog" song writing competition who produced a handful of Original Pilipino Music (OPM) hits that are still heard on radio today, like "hindi na Bale", "Kung Ako na Lang Sana", Hanggan", and "This Guy's in Love with You. Pare. "ABS-CBN and Star Records has re-launched the project, with the theme "Pinoy Pop (P-Pop) Love Songs: Mga awit at Kuwento ng Pusong Pilipino. " The competition also encouraged viewers all over the world to share their Love Stories and have a chance to be featured at ABS-CBN Valentine's Special.

This year - Aiza Segerra's interpretation of " Anong Nangyari Sa Ating Dalawa" is adjusted as the Best P-Pop Love Song.

Our 25th year wedding videos was part of the ABS-CBN's Himig Handog 2013 feature and was also shown on TFC as their Valentine's Plug.

Credits:
Song: This Song Is For You (Himig Handog 2013)
Performed by: Erik Santos
Composed by: Jude Thaddeus Gitamondoc
Wedding video courtesy of Zoombox Wedding Videos
Video Provided by: Cath Recio
Special thanks to our daughter Rea Lynne Lopez Aguinaldo who narrated our Story.






Monday, January 21, 2013

My wife’s dream wedding becomes a reality: A tribute to our 25th year’s married life.

By: Fredolin Pagdilao Aguinaldo – Doha, Qatar


Because of my wife Evelyn’s dream to be blessed in a church wedding ceremony, my eldest daughter Rea Lynne together with my son Fredolin II and youngest daughter Anna Mae planned six (6) month ago supposedly surprise wedding and celebration to our 25th year of marriage life.

However our plan wasn't the surprise we hoped it would be because we had to reveal it a few weeks earlier for some Roman Catholic Church requirements that needs the bride’s personal appearance. Nevertheless we still managed to prepare all the necessary arrangements without her knowing. We managed to ask her to dress-up for a supposedly photo shot for Fredolin II school project but ended up bringing her to the Basilica De San Sebastian in Quiapo, Manila for a needed pre-wedding seminar and other paper requirements.

A twist of event nearly ruined all our efforts and plans when I had a misunderstanding with our only son Fredolin II the night of Pagdilao’s clan yearly reunion on the 30th of December 2012. Thank God we were able to sort-out our differences before the year ended despite missing out on the opportunity to be with my extended family and friends.



Two (2) weeks ago, Evelyn and I finally shared our vows in a church wedding together with our family, old and new friends minus a very important figure – my father Anton who passed-away early last year. The effort of our event coordinator daughter Rea Lynne to bring the best for our wedding anniversary celebrations paid-off when she saw that everyone was having fun. Every detail was masterminded by her up to the tiniest detail.

I felt like a stranger when we had our civil wedding rites twenty-five (25) years ago (because I went to General Santos City all alone) – but the adrenalin that ran through my whole body during that time still lingers as of today. Evelyn is still gorgeous as she used to be despite having three (3) kids taking a toll on her once slim body. I on the other hand survived four (4) chemo therapy sessions due to cancer which made my body really frail. Twenty-five (25) years has passed and after treatment a brand-new and better me is all I can offer and share with my wife.

Celebrating our love along with our two lovely girls Rea Lynne and Anna Mae including our only son Fredolin II made it a memorable occasion. I always tell my siblings that this might be my last “hurrah” but they always ignore my jokes and say: “masamang damo-mahirap ma-matay” – how I wish it is true.

After so many disagreements in life throughout those twenty-five (25) years of living together, I think we are still in love. No - we are still in love. My siblings, close friends and family members think that NGO’s and Women’s advocates should give my wife “matiisin or martyrdom” award because of my temperamental attitude. I still remember when I was bedridden for 6-months I would say “wiwi” (I want to pee) and my wife was always there to assist me. I fully agree that the “matiisin” award is best fitted for her; no one can surpass my wife Evelyn - because of that I love her more than my life.

Marriages is not an easy journey, but with our faith to each other were able to weather it all. We have each other to cling on and those three (3) beautiful children; they are the reason for living. Every negative incident we encounter should be forgotten and replaced with love and affection.

I have found happiness with Eve and never have I planned to let her go. I know I have shortcomings but I will always try to find ways to make up for them. I always treasure her love and as a result hope to be together with her until the very end.



CLICK Image for more VIDEO & PHOTOshoots




Saturday, December 1, 2012

878 España – Not Your Ordinary College Address.


By: Fredolin P. Aguinaldo – Doha, Qatar

878 Espana investors, guest & Vista Land representatives - Doha, Qatar

With almost 35 percent reservations on its initial LOI offering, officials of Camella  Qatar is gearing up to top all sales abroad including that of Singapore who is leading the sales race for now.

Despite some un-expected turn of events, a sizable crowd gathered for the grand launch of the newest landmark in the university belt Manila that was held last night at Emerald ballroom at Holiday Villa Hotel & Residences Doha, Qatar.

The same ladies who cared for me at St. Lukes & Hamad during my hospitalization
Everyone is at awe as soon as they entered the venue because everything is on its best.

The organizing head of Vista Land thanks everyone who participated in the preparations including those logistics made by the sales team of Qatar.

Abraham M. Malicdem International Marketing Manager welcome all visitors and after the ceremonial wine toasts, He introduces the 37-storey building that completes Camella Condo Homes' university project series, built to upgrade every students' usual college experience, and designed to generate income for the persistent investor. 878 España will prove to be more than your usual college address.

Engineer Rowel Santiago said that due to the project un-expected volume on its initial LOI offering and inquiries, the original 25 floor building design has been up-graded to 37 floors iconic green architecture who then expertly explains all the technical aspect and building details of the project.

...now they are all busy selecting their OWN units
Prices range from P2.4 million to P5.0 million and areas from 25 square meters to 72 square meters. 

The construction is set to begin in May next year while buyers will be able to move in by June 2017 He continues.

International food menu was served to the delight of everyone attending the presentation – and while everybody is busy having dinner, Rowel continues his presentation on various payment scheme designed to attract all kind of interested condo investors.

Young but persistent investor
While everyone settles down – Abe on the other hand introduces one of Qatar community leader.

Since “ako pala yun” - I then continued introducing myself and further about my own experiences in real estate investing.

Being on the business for almost 10-years now – I did assure the audience that condo rental situated at the university belt area is on its best and continue to be a “SURE FIRE” passive income generator as long as students from abroad as in the provinces continue to flock Manila for their studies.

As OFWs, one has to learn how to manage their finances well. What we see and learn today from those presentation made by industry experts - is an alternative or approach for earning and investing.

It is not how much an individual could earn my friend - but how much one get to keep or save.

In order to attain this, please continue to seek alternate avenues to be educated in order for you to be literate to know how to save or keep and eventually grow ones saving. My friend there is always a way, and that is trough investing

878 Espana will be a trusted brand and a good part of one’s investment portfolio.

Thank you all - Good Morning.


The entrepreneur author & Fe Martinez - Ex. Volunteer Business Counselors of Doha 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Last Goodbye: A loving father’s Tale of Love, Loss and Forgiveness


By: Fredolin P. Aguinaldo – Doha, Qatar

I had just woken up from a fuzzy dream in my family house in the province when I heard a voice belonging to  my father asking “Sinu ang namatay?” (Who just died?) - scared to the bone, my heart skipped a beat. I tried to get up as quick as I can for he is the very reason why I took an emergency leave of absence from my work abroad (Middle East) - in order to attend his wake.

I just couldn't stop crying for I knew that even upon death my father’s love and affection was still flourishing within me - that even in my sub-conscious inner feeling he is still guiding. I can’t remember any moment in my entire life where I’ve been so scared – but at that time I felt both fear and relief. I was thankful because my father was able to communicate with me for the last time - even if it was only in my dreams.

I went straight to our family room where the body of my father was laid for his town mates to see and make last wishes before his final resting day. My mother Julia was there sobbing continuously, beside his coffin, holding a beautiful framed picture of them together.  As I said a little prayer - I could see different framed accolades of various organizations where he served adorn his coffin, what is the use of these various accolades now that he is dead – I asked myself, why acknowledge him now?

Being the eldest among the siblings, my father Anton thought me how to be tough - together we weathered all kind of hardships just to sustain our everyday lives while continuing to foster his dream that one day his children would be better-off in any directions of their choice. 

My father’s dreams were slowly being fulfilled until a deafening screech from a fast-moving passenger bus pushed him thirty-five (35) meters away from where he was standing and ended his life. How painful is it to watch someone you love dying? Some might perhaps do nothing but wipe away their tears until the last breath, but my youngest brother Ronnie came to the rescue and lovingly carried our father’s bloodied body while the bus driver hurriedly pulled away from the accident scene without even extending any assistance. He drove hurriedly zigzagging until the bus vanished from sight.

Baguio Christmas 2011
I thought I was the toughest sibling of us all by weathering my early life in Manila during my college days away from home. I remember the exact moment when I started slip away from my father since I was a working student - life back then was hard and that eventually led to my slowly parting away from my own family. My contact with my family eventually became less what with me landing a job in the Middle East and raising a family of my own. Despite the lack of communication I would always see to it that on my annual vacation I visit my parents and bring them to Manila or Baguio for some much needed rest. 
























My
 father Anton is a victim of a hit-and-run by a bus flying the Maharlika Highway route in the province of Cagayan Valley. The fatal accident happened on July 2012 - Friday the 13th.  I am not a firm believer in the paranormal but after what had happened - I can’t help but wonder. Despite what has happened I pray that my father is at peace and hope that he is remembered well by people he has met in this life.



Tatang,

We will always remember you because there can never be another father and grandfather who can replace you in our hearts. Our love will always be with you.

Happy Birthday - we miss you.


Juanito Agnir Aguinaldo Grand Children

Please CLICK Image for VIdeo