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Nishit Majmudar is the new President and CEO of Pru Life UK effective April 2007. He has an extensive actuarial background. He used to be with the Monetary Authority of Singapore before becoming the Chief Actuary of Prudential Assurance Company (Singapore) in 2000. Nish, as he would prefer to be called, took the lead in client education on retirement planning with a series of talks called “PruLink Seminars”. In the 2003 issue of Market Momentum, his advice to the man on thenishitlunch.jpg street is this: “Many of us spend most of our time thinking of ways to earn more money and hardly any time on making our money work hard. A more balanced approach could reap higher financial gains and lead to a more comfortable life, especially after retirement.”

Mr. Nishit Majmudar succeeded Mr. Charlie Oropeza and Mr. Bobby Madrid, now the Chairman of the Board of Pru Life UK.

I had the opportunity to interact with him at luggage-tag.jpgthe Leaders’ Lunch where top producers are recognized and treated to lunch with the company’s executives. It was held in Gaster Deli at 6750 Building Ayala Avenue, Makati City. We were served salad with various dressings, roast beef, fettucine alfredo, dory fish fillet, rice pilaf and for dessert, we had fruit tarts, chocolate balls, leche flan and brownies. The token was very useful and innovative-luggage tag with sewing kit.

Mr. Majmudar announced that the tie-up of Pru Life UK with Citibank is in the final stages. This affiliation will give rise to a strong brand impact beneficial to both. Citibank will promote Pru Life UK financial solutions to its cardholders. The credit card payment arrangement is a very convenient payment scheme for policyholders. With regards to the radical trend of the unit prices, he emphasized that Pru Life UK policyholders and investors must maintain their long-term horizon and the worst thing to do is to panic in response to world market reactions. He also advices investors to diversify. The cardinal rule is… high returns involve high risk.

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My daughter knows better than to ever tell me she’s bored. I’ve told her, “There is always something to do or life wouldn’t have placed you where you are, so don’t tell me you’re bored. It means you haven’t looked inside deeply enough to figure out what to do with yourself right now.”

One day she forgot. She was just lounging on the couch when she said, “Dad, I’m bored” – and for some reason she fell right off the couch. From down on the floor, she looked up at me and said, “Dad, I’m not bored anymore.”

The saying as given in the Bible is, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Thoughts are things and it’s important to keep our thoughts of a spiritual nature, where we put our attention on living a life, which is a clear step toward growth. In whatever we do, are we growing? Are we learning? Are we enjoying this lifetime while we have our strength and our health?…

How to Find God, pp. 302-303
Harold Klemp

When we hear about the spiritual growth, the first thing that comes to my mind is change. So what is spirituality anyway? In my view, it is the processes of taking a thousand puzzle pieces and finding the right place for each piece. And when you’re done, you realize there are nine thousand pieces more.

Growth is uncomfortable because we leave something behind, like our old self, down to the minutest cells. It is maybe conscious or unconscious but it is inevitable anyway. The greatest step comes when we are shaken up and a crisis hits us, which may be in terms of relationships, finance, health, career, etc. Much like the daughter in the story who fell of the couch. If we are comfortable, it is the law of nature to wake us up. Staying in our comfort zone like being inside a casket with satin sheets. Quite an eerie thought don’t you think?

We can hasten our spiritual growth in several ways:

1. Improving our relationships
I attended a personal mastery workshop lately and this statement struck me – The level of your spirituality is determined by the quality of your relationships.

2. Engaging in spiritual exercises
They don’t have to be very elaborate. My personal spiritual exercises include affirming people, being grateful and acknowledging the blessings in my life. Taking things for granted is like the cavity in your tooth. If it persists it makes things rotten inside. Waking up each day with the mission of being of service to others jumpstarts my day. I welcome quiet time and take walks around the village. I delight observing the streets, the plants, and people in general. I would never get up close and personal as this as compared to driving.

3. Laughing more
I love reading books and if the author is witty enough to make me laugh, then it’s a winner! I consciously seek out happy people and try to see the humor in everyday life. Comedy shows would be great too.

So the next time you fall off the couch, you can just laugh it off!

May the blessings be!

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One of my clients shared this letter he composed to his children which he attached to the life insurance policy he bought from me in the hope of inspiring other parents to do the same.

To my dear children,

I am very sorry for leaving you so soon. There is never a perfect time for any father to have gone ahead of his loved ones. God called me to help Him in heaven. One day, you will understand.

I am confident that you will be good, loving and cheerful givers of this world. I have raised you in the way I know best. I wish I have led you right and helped you to be true. It is an honor that God entrusted me to you and thank you for choosing me. Each day with you is a gift to live up to the ideals of being the best Daddy that I can be. I am sorry for my shortcomings. Please forgive me for the times I ignored you, lost my patience and hurt you and your mother. Even Daddy is a work in progress.

Be bold, be brave and live your days to the fullest and without regret. Life is all about love and growth. Love one another and pass on the good works to your spouses, children and grandchildren. Let no man put you down and don’t let them steal your dreams.

Daddy is in heaven now so don’t worry. I provided for your needs at least until the time that you have adjusted without me and ready to take on the world. I signed this policy for this purpose. Your Tita Edlynn will help me take care of you. She knows best how to handle a family crisis such as this. Just give her a call whenever you want to hear stories about me, and she can also tell you how much I love you all. Do this gesture to your future children as well. I have sent you angels to watch over you, my children. Take care of Mommy and know that I love her very much. If she is happy, be assured that I will be happy for her too.

Though I am not with you physically anymore, I remain alive in the memories that we shared. Whenever you miss me, just close your eyes; remember the good times we had as a family and I will be there. I will visit you in your dreams-I miss you too.

One day, we will meet again.

I love you from the bottom of my bottomless heart.

With love,
Daddy

“For those of us who believe, death is not the dying of the light. It is the lamp of life turned off at the coming of the dawn.” – Tagore

Interested to write your own ‘love letter’ to your family?  I can help you. Drop me a line at 0917-5336869

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The Spa Association of the Philippines (SAPi) inducted its new officers at Enderun College’s Restaurant 101 in Wynsum, Ortigas Center. With incoming president Ms. Marjorie Lopingco of the Bellevue Spa Club at the helm, SAPi members can expect an exciting and dynamic year ahead.

Ms. Lopingco’s leadership team is composed of: Vice-President Cathy Turvill, Secretary Carl de la Viña, Treasurer Lynette Zotomayor, and P.R.O. Gladys Conserido. Dr. Edwin Bien and Ms. Ethelyn Perez were the hosts during the program. No less than Tourism Secretary Joseph “Ace” Durano expressed his support to the association by gracing the occasion and he spoke about the Spa Association of the Philippines can help usher the Philippine spa industry to the next level and be at par with spas with world class standards. “Hilot is nowadays a widely accepted word,” he says. He also took part in distributing certificates to several members of SAPi who recently passed the accreditation by the Confederation of International Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology (CIBTAC) on human anatomy and physiology and among them were: Ms. Marjorie Lopingco, Cathy Turvill, Gladys Conserido, Carl de la Viña. Mary Jane de Guzman and Mary Judith Josef.

sapi-chefs.jpgSeveral students of Enderun College concocted the delicious buffet and the Spa Association of the Philippines recognized them by way of certificates for the evening’s food selection. The students were also busy going around serving cocktails and drinks. After dinner, we were led to a wine tasting session where F&B Manager Chad Davis gladly educated us on the basics of wine. We sampled three varieties,sapi-chad-wine.jpg namely: Beringer White Zinfandel 2006, Beringer Chenin Blanc 2005, Stone Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2004. They were more than happy to refill our glasses. We were also served ementhal, brie cheese and plum. It was a crash course on the health benefits of drinking wine, its characteristics, which kind goes with certain foods. A common question asked is about the difference between red and white wine. Red wine contains the skin of the grape while white wine excludes it. He shared tips on how to handle and serve wine to guests. Chad gave us a demo on the proper way to serve wine, and that we will be able to distinguish between impeccable and lousy service after that. He also discussed the use of screw caps in wines as a future trend. Screw caps remove the risk of sapi-wine-cheese.jpgcork taint and sporadic oxidation. They are easy to open and they maintain the quality of wine. Screw caps will soon be the norm. Enderun College offers quality wine at very reasonable rates compared to the offerings of five star hotels of the same brand.

The proliferation of wellness centers, resorts, destination and day spas in the country signify a booming industry. The Philippines as an in-demand medical tourism haven in Asia is not far-fetched. Congratulations to the new officers of the Spa Association of the Philippines and the newly passed CIBTAC graduates!

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With my Lola Ermy’s prodding, we hopped on the Pasig River Ferry Service for a “cruise” from Hulo, Mandaluyong to Escolta, Manila. I was very excited to take this cruise, especially with the hyped publicity of the movie “Pirates of the Caribbean At World’s End” that is currently being shown in local theaters. We parked our car at the station and waited for the next ferry to come. The station was clean and the air-conditioning was cool.

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My Mommy Edlynn went with me on my first trip. The trip took one hour but I pasigferry-1.jpg wasn’t impatient. The boat could fit about 150 passengers, and it was cool inside. Looking out at the river and the shanties on both sides were interesting sights. The garbage floated along with the water lilies and I feel helpless that the Pasig River is near death due to the undisciplined practices of the residents beside the river. You wouldn’t smell the garbage inside the ferry, so if you decide to take a nap, it was a very convenient ride. They were showing a Paul McCartney videoconcert and you can sing along as the lyrics were being flashed (microphone not included though). Life vests were available for everyone just in case. Though it’s one incident I wish will never happen. Historic sites that you can see include the Malacañang Palace, the official residence of the President of the Republic of the Philippines and the Philippine Post Office Building. We stopped at Sta. Ana station before reaching our destination and when we reached Escolta, we visited Lola Elena in Philtrust Bank. My Lola Elena is a woman of strength. She is already in her mid-80’s yet she is still very sharp and reports everyday for work. She might be retiring soon, so I am happy that I was able to see her office. Wepasigferry-postoffice.jpg went to Polland Store on Escolta Street to buy hopia, fresh lumpia and other goodies. We went back to Hulo station after another hour.

Trip 2
Lola Ermy invited us to eat in President Restaurant in Ongpin. My Ninong Erwin, Aunt Raquel, cousin Erica, Lolo Eddie and Mommy Edlynn took the ferry service to Escolta station. I had the chance to ride the ‘calesa’ this time with my cousin and it was lots of fun! Walking to President Restaurant would take 15 minutes, though by that time, they already worked up an appetite. I ate a lot of ‘birthday noodles’, my favorite! We also rode a ‘calesa’ from the restaurant back to Escolta station. I was so full from dinner and I slept on our way home.

pasigferry-tarpflag.jpgThe fare is at P25 per person one way. It is very reasonable as against the gasoline and parking you would spend going to Escolta. That’s assuming of course that you can spare 3 hours of your time. Nevertheless, I highly recommend trying it out. Also, this will support the advocacy to save Pasig River. The ferry service is a project of the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission. If we contribute in our own little way, I look forward to an improved condition for my generation and those to come!

Sakay ka na!

Photo by Tina Munk http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/Asia/Myanmar/photo267320.htm

“After all, you are a child of God. Why not have a good, healthy opinion about you? You are worth something. The basic principle of Eckankar is: Soul exists because God loves It. You exist because God loves you, and that is all the reason there needs to be. You are important because you exist.

This is sometimes the starting point. Once you reach that point, you can say, “I’m worth something because God loves me. I am Soul.”

And if you can carry this with you, then you can go out into the world and love your neighbor as yourself. And if you can do this truly from your heart, this will be an entirely different world.

But since it is not an entirely different world, I would have to guess that many of the major religions have failed in their message. Maybe they’re doing the best they can in this theater of the human condition where people are learning to overcome their passions so that they can rise to a higher state of consciousness through their own experiences in life.

The Secret of Love, pp. 145-146
Harold Klemp

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What does it mean to be a child of God?

Being called “child of God” levels the playing field. The ego finds it hard to accept that the ‘sinners’ in our midst would deserve to be called as such. The Holy Bible though warns us of judging other people and in the story of the Adulteress; this cannot be farther from the truth. “When they persisted in asking him questions, he straightened up and said, “The person who is sinless should be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:7)

God’s essence is most evident in children. They possess all the perfect and positive attributes when they were born. As they grow older, they are influenced by a lot of factors and the experiences they go through help them expand their awareness. This brings them back to a point of self-reflection and they are faced with the proverbial question “What for do we exist?”

Wherever we are in our journey, everything is perfect the way it is. What we think is important may be worthless, what we most believe to be true may be the biggest lie, that dualities are not opposites but complementaries and we do everything by doing nothing.

Will you take the challenge?

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When Deedee and I met other BNI members in the Singapore Conference we attended, there is an instant rapport even if you meet them for the first time. We can assume to have the same mindset and the same ideals that we are working towards. One such member was Judy Koh Teck Neo of Creative Culinaire. We caffepralet-in1.jpgvisited her restaurant Caffe Pralet on Eng Hoon Mansions and we savored her coffee, rose tea, Laksa and chocolate mousse. Deedee and I also met up with Maya Hidajat, Senior Event Manager of IMG as they are working on the planning of Philippine Badminton Open in Manila.

caffepralet-out.jpg Her café is very cozy and she told us that several BNI chapters have their breakfast meetings there. In fact, another chapter bumped off even the chapter she belongs to, Crescendo.

The café features her poems on her wall. One poem I liked read was entitled “Teabags”:

 

Teabags dipped in water
Listening to talks between girls
Stolen secrets, hearts poured into china teacups,
Pain diluted and friendships stirred,
Sweeten with honey,
The lemon no longer sour,
And sip it slowly
And somehow, it tastes better than water unadorned

 

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Stately aromas from English Earl grey,
Jasmine flowers plucked from the fragrance of Chinese bosoms,
Teas from India, dressed in veils of mystery
Choice aplenty and you have it all,
The world at a sip away,
Have tongue will travel,
And let your mind’s eye roam the perfumes of the lands

Judy Koh
15th Jan 2004

She also conducts cooking lessons at her huge kitchen beside Caffe Pralet. When in Singapore, check it out!

Related posts: Harvest meets Harvest, BNI Day in Singapore: Simply Amazing!, Al Argo in Action

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My name is Xavy and I am 2 years old today. You know my brother Terence from the previous post and I too must have my space in my mom’s blog. These 2 years of my existence were marked by the hustle and bustle of my parents’ budding careers. My sense of self and life in general is being revealed to me in the townhouse that my parents and elder brother moved into before I was born, in contrast to my brother who grew up in a condominium. As with other second born children, my mom has more confidence that I will develop social skills early on with my brother keeping me company and my constant playmate. He is a big influence in my life and I caught his passion for juggling. Watching juggling videos on YouTube has been our favorite pastime.

My being born into this world is a result of my parents’ confidence that becoming one is not as hard as they imagined. When parents get past the baptismal rites and the ever grand first birthday party of the firstborn, they now breathe a sigh of relief and gear up to have baby number two. Suddenly, having only one child seems to be insufficient especially when the eldest grows so fast. Parents start reflecting on what they did wrong and how to improve the second time around-or can they really?

“The beauty of ‘spacing’ children many years apart lies in the fact that parents have the time to learn the mistakes that were made with the older ones which permits them to make exactly the opposite mistakes with the younger ones.” – Sydney J. Harris

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I am an alumnus of The Learning Haven. When adults ask me where I go to school and I tell them “at The Learning Haven”, a blank stare, “come again?” or “where’s that?” are common reactions. The school is located in the middle of Barangay (Bo.) Kapitolyo in Pasig City. Mommy’s friend Tita Jayjay recommended the school to her and her son Kyle became one of my best friends.

Teacher Joanne Jesena established the Learning Haven seven years ago. She used to teach in Xavier School and her belief that “… each child is a genius to be discovered” propelled her to propagate Developmentally Appropriate Practices (DAP). DAP apply programs to fit the age and individual needs of each child in a class.

I was two and a half years old when I enrolled in her toddlers summer programs. I used to cry a lot during school presentations, and over 3 years, I managed to be a narrator in our school play. My self-confidence significantly improved. She is a discipline coach and her focus is that one’s essence is perfect. As babies, all the positive attributes are present and somehow, we were ‘degeniusized’ (check my mom’s blog entry “Born Genius”).

My mom recently attended a seminar she conducted entitled “Teaching Reading at Home”. She informed the attendees that there are a lot of reading strategies. The ‘traditional’ style is phonetic, where words are read by the sound of the letters, but the retention is not that effective as reading by context. reading2.jpgAn interesting thing she said was that children learn first the letters of their name because it is the most significant to them. As they thirst for more, their awareness extends to their immediate family and classmates’ names. Labeling ordinary items in the house works best. When they look at these objects, they get to ‘sight read’ and the association of the name to the object is well established. To develop children’s writing skills, she advices that then be given various writing instruments and different paper textures they can experiment with. When they write on paper, the adults should not be tempted to ask “What is that?” Young children may not be ready to explain their scribbles in a logical manner and this may stifle their self-expression. Now my brother Xavy can doodle to his heart’s content. She also discussed about the seven steps of spelling continuum from “Early Readers and Writers” (yes, even spelling has stages) namely: 1) scribbling; 2) letter-like forms; 3) one-letter spelling; 4) letter strings; 5) invented spelling; 6) transitional spelling; and 7) conventional. This seminar is only one of her numerous offerings to support the parents. One of her much sought after sessions is “Stress Free Discipline Strategy”.

My most memorable field trips were in Museo Pambata, Planetarium, Air Ads, Avilon Zoo, and the touching outreach in Gawad Kalinga in Baseco. I will miss Teacher Jo, as I will go to a big school by June. However, the values she has imparted to me will remain. Teacher Jo’s dream is that there is a “Learning Haven in every community”. She has dedicated herself to this teaching approach and this passion gave birth to a branch in Taguig. With her dedication and commitment, it will not be far-fetched.

For inquiries on seminars, enrollment and class schedules contact Joanne Jesena at 636-0658 or visit The Learning Haven-Pasig at 64 San Rafael St. Bo. Kapitolyo, or The Learning Haven-Taguig at Lake View Arcade, Bagong Calsada, Ususan, Taguig.

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How would you celebrate the 50th anniversary of a company you built from scratch?

Being in business for 50 years is a milestone to beat. Only a handful of businesses survive even its first year.

We are known as the “mahangin family”. No, we don’t sell electric fans. We are in the business of compressed gases and chemicals. Superior Gas and Equipment Co. (SUGECO) was established by my great grandfather, the late Don Jose Tiosejo (Lolo Pepe). He was an entrepreneur at heart, establishing several businesses during his time. My grandfather Januario “Frondy” Frondoso took over and now my father’s brother, Manuel “Lito” Frondoso, leads it.

The late Mrs. Concepcion Lua, a pharmacist, responded to an ad looking for distributors of compressed gas products in the Visayas. Superior Gas and Equipment Co. of Cebu was established in 1957. Operations started in a small office in her rented house. SUGECO Cebu is now a multi-million business, a testament to her dedication and commitment, and to the management skills of her son Alvin, the President and CEO. It is a key player in the gas industry in Visayas and Mindanao. Mr. Alvin Lua paved the way for a major milestone, the establishment of a hydrogen plant in Lapu Lapu City in 2003. SUGECO Cebu is in the process of attaining ISO Certifications.

The anniversary party was held at Pacific Grand Ballroom of the newly renovated Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Lahug, Cebu City. I am very honored to take part in the celebration. It was a sumptuous dinner buffet with lechon (roasted pig) and roast beef. They raffled off a lot of prizes with a 21” plasma TV as the grand prize, and the audio-visual presentations and musical entertainment were great! There were cakes on each table and the souvenir was a nice memo pad holder.

I accepted my father’s invitation (he is one of the directors) to accompany him and I looked forward to a great learning opportunity. It was also a good chance to visit Cebu again. The last time was in 2004 with my husband and we stayed in Plantation Bay. I travelled with my father Mr. Eddie Frondoso, uncles (Jay Frondoso, Chito Frondoso, Dr. Tony Tiosejo) and aunt (Tessie Tiosejo).

Lolo Pepe died before I was born and I feel the connection in spirit through this experience. The success of the company to me is as close as I can get to get a glimpse of what he was like. His ideals are carried on to those whose lives he touched. He was a man of great vision and foresight. He surely wanted to leave a legacy for the future generation and the details will follow. I can play the scene in my mind on how Lolo Pepe and Mrs. Lua would strategize on making the venture a success.

Congratulations to SUGECO Cebu and may the next 50 years be even greater!

Would you want your business to last as long? What major step will you take to make this happen? Do you have what it takes?

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