26 October 2013

The Much Anticipated El Clasico

Every time like this when the two biggest clubs in La Liga, if not in the world, will square off or is around the corner, the much anticipated “El Clasico” always made the headline in football world and often times the talk of the town, not only during the match but also the days before and after that. Especially this season wherein the big names in football will be playing against each other, more so and this time around it’s no longer the names of CRon and Messi that will be involved but also the likes of Bale and Neymar. And most notably, the predictions in the outcome of the match come with so many interesting facts.

More so, that some experts believe that there seems to have a relationship between the outcome of the El Clasico and the race for the La Liga title. So whoever wins in the Clasico will eventually gain a significant advantage in winning La Liga especially when the title race is so tight. And statistics have shown that in six out of nine seasons, the team that emerged better in the Clasico would go on to be crowned champions. So anyone who wants the La Liga title must better win the El Clasico. And there’s little doubt that it plays a big role in the title race comes May.

And here are some interesting facts of their head to head matchup. Barca last won against arch-rival Madrid in December 2011 and simply to say that Barcelona had not won in the last five outings against Real Madrid in all competitions. But on the other hand, Barcelona have won their last 20 home league games since that fateful October night last year. So the odds this time seems leaning towards Barcelona hitting the first blow in Clasico and Los Blancos second defeat of the season.

Image from El Clasico/Facebook

The Effects of Parental Absence

You’ll come at some point that you have to burn time at work reading news and current events especially during after hours. And two months ago, it wasn’t a different story but the one that I’ve read was extraordinary yet a common scenario. It is actually happening to so many families when they opted to work abroad hoping to find a greener future in order to send their kids to school or support their family and have at least lived a descent life.

The article that I’ve read, entitled “Tough on the child, tougher on the mother” was all about a family who by circumstances was forced to live separately with their kids because of government rules and or they are not earning that much to reach the stipulated ceiling of that government rule. And according to that article, “many expatriate women are forced to be absentee mothers out of necessity” and many are living away from their children for a long time not merely by choice but dictated by life’s circumstances that is way beyond their control, at least most of the situation.
It was indeed a hard truth that there’s nothing else that they can do and are forced to make sacrifices for their future. But another hard truth, if not more, is the fact that some kids find it hard to understand what their parents are doing considering that it typically does not only involve physical separation alone but also emotional comfort and social presence. So most of the time many parents are left praying and hoping that their children one day will understand that what they are doing is for them so they can go to school and have a better life.

Yet the process of parental separation remains a very hard truth to accept and understand especially when you are pressed by force of circumstances knowing that infants develop attachment to adults at a young age who became consistent caregivers to them. And the effects of parental absence at a young age can be devastating and cruel not only to the child but to parents as well.

Image from thebump.com

25 October 2013

Champions League’s Latest Round of Games

The latest round of games in the Champions League group stage has just finished and as early as now, there’s one thing that I noticed between the first four groups and the last four. And that is their total goals scored among them. In fact, groups A to D have already broken the record of goals scored by teams in a single match day at the very first day of the Champions League’s 2013 season. They have scored 30 goals in the curtain raiser, then two weeks later, the total goals scored was 28 and just two days ago they scored 27 goals over all.

While the other groups, E to H, have so far came short of surpassing them or even just come
image source
closer to groups A to D’s total goals scored. And the recent match was no ordinary from the opening day as another hat trick was produced although in the end, it was not just three goals but four, in fact. In the first day, CRon scored his 21st hat trick in Real Madrid’s shirt then recently, it was Ibra’s turn to showcase his enthralling talent by thrashing their hapless opponent with four goals. And Anderlecht end up losing the game 0-5 to the improving and remarkable PSG side.

So in two weeks, I am looking forward of how many goals they’re going to produce again knowing for the fact that in the first three-round of games they have totaled a whooping 85 goals already. I cannot imagine how many goals they’re going to have again as they already average 28 goals a game.

24 October 2013

Fantastic Counting

It is a dream of every parent to have their kids goes to school even if it is not so prestigious as long as they are going to be well educated. So when our son reached 3 years old, we sent him to a nursery school for two reasons. First and very obvious, is in order for him to learn more and secondly, which made up our mind even if he is still 3 years old, so he will be exposed to kids of his age level. That is because he spent most of his time inside the house either playing with us or watching his favorite TV and play with his toys.

He is also confined in the house because of the extreme weather here in our place that he should not be exposed in too much heat of the sun because his eczema will flare up. Last month, we enrolled him for the Nursery School and so far the feedback of his teacher is that he is enjoying in the class. Even though I am apprehensive of him going to school because most of the time he is not listening to us and he keeps on running, we still believe that it is the best for him. And despite all those apprehensions there’s only one thing that would make every parent out there to be proud of their kids. That is when they got awards from school.

So when he came home today, we are so happy for his first special award from school. He got a special award for “Fantastic Counting”.  I’m not sure what he has done in school but I believe they are being evaluated for what they have learned this week as they have a Math week this week. We are indeed grateful in his achievement and his first special award and we are hoping that he will continue to improve especially in his attitude.

20 October 2013

Barca, Atletico Miss Out on Record

The club football match resumed last Friday after the international break, although most of the big clubs in Europe starts playing their games yesterday. And since it was my day off, I have the luxury of watching almost all of the games especially Real Madrid, Barca and Atletico Madrid. While the rest of then can only be monitored through live commentary since it has an overlapping times and if not, it is played simultaneously especially the EPL and Serie A. And it only left me no other choice but concentrate in my favorite clubs.
Image from FC Barcelona

Barca and Atletico Madrid were aiming for their ninth straight league win and subsequently will match Real Madrid’s four-decade long record of nine straight wins. At first, it looks like both Barca and the Los Colchoneros are going to make history as their opponents are sitting at bottom and mid-table, respectively. But in the end Osasuna and Espanyol are making it hard and frustrate their opponents with great defending and eventually missed out on record. The sad part is that, Atletico not only miss a record nine straight wins, they also dropped their first points of the season with a 0-1 loss to the spirited Espanyol.
Image from wikipedia

While Barca wasn’t able to break the deadlock despite the return of Messi from thigh injury and they also dropped their first points of the season but was lucky enough to earn a point with the draw. And stats show that it was the first time that Barca have failed to score in 65 La Liga games. Yet I am worried for they might come back stronger for the first El Clasico match of the season this coming Saturday, 26 October.

13 October 2013

During the International Break of Football

During the international break of football has given me the chance to keep up in watching my favorite TV series. And it is for that reason also that I came to know that the new NCIS season has started already. So I did not waste any time to start watching the first three episodes of NCIS Season 11 during my off days last week. That is also because I was so intrigue that Ziva will no longer continue as one of their agents and I am curious as to how they’re going to end her character and what will be the reaction of DiNozzo about it. I’m sure he will be devastated again as he already lost Kate before in a tragic way.
I was also able to watch and concentrate in at least two Formula 1 Grand Prix but sadly, it is still Vettel who won both races in Korea and Japan just this October. Not to mention that he has also won three consecutive Grand Prix before that and he definitely will win his fourth consecutive World Championship title in the upcoming race in India in two weeks. Vettel’s 90-point advantage at the top from his closest rival seems to be insurmountable with only four more races to go. Statistically, it is still possible that Alonso can overtake him as long as Alonso is going to emerge as winner and Vettel only manage to accumulate nine points in the remaining four Grand Prix. Which from many experts opinion is more unlikely and seems very impossible to happen because of the fact that Vettel has won five consecutive races already.

Image from screencapped.net

11 October 2013

Learning to Say “Please” and “Thank You”

I already made a post regarding our son that he started going to school already for the first time and so far things are moving forward and doing great. But of course not all good things will just come handy without any downside. And so during his third week in school, he has done his first offense when we read the report of his teacher, that he was throwing sand at his classmate during one of their playtime outside the classroom. And that’s really a very unwelcome situation and not so good development as he already started learning how to incorporate the word “please” and say “thank you”.

We can only hope that when the class resumes next week there’s nothing like it will ever happen again. So for the meantime, they will have a week long vacation to enjoy and that is entirely because of the Eid holiday. And on Monday, we will bring him for a night out camping by the beach. It is actually a pre-winter family get together with my colleagues at work.

And speaking of winter, did you guys got your flu vaccine already? If not then it is time to pay your doctor a visit considering that it would at least take two weeks for the vaccine to have its full potential of protection to kick-off. As for me, I already had my flu shot late last month.

Anyway, I want our son to experience camping out because last year, we went home before midnight because he was not feeling well at that time. He had flu like symptoms a few days before the planned camping and I am hoping that this time around it will be materialized. So tomorrow I will be preparing for the things we need and will check out the store for new camping tents, mattress.

07 October 2013

Exceptional and Invaluable Customer Service

I can’t help but to remember the unexpected call that I received from SAFA pure drinking water every time Thursday is approaching and it was indeed an exceptional and invaluable customer service. And this is the kind of customer service that will make customers be loyal to the company. It is the kind of service that I am also looking into from companies because it only means one thing; they valued their customers so much.

As I have said in my previous post that I grabbed the opportunity, so I have it delivered the following day because I am not sure whether our last bottle which is half full already would last until the usual delivery day. And true to their words, the delivery van came the next day in the afternoon to refill two empty bottles of 5 liters each and they did not ask for additional fee for the unscheduled service. Although the agent who called me emphasized that it is free and will cost us nothing more than the cost of every bottle itself.
On the other hand, it is not the only exceptional service that they have had because several times in the past we forgot to place outside the house our empty bottles and there’s no single occasion that they left without letting us know. They will knock on the door or use the doorbell when the saw that there’s no bottles outside the house. They will ask us if we still have water or we just simply forgot and most of the time it is the latter that keeps happening. And because of this chain of events, I will no longer pursue the plan of adding a competitor brand even if they had a better initial package.

Improving Credibility to the International Community

Apart from the credit rating upgrade given by Fitch and Standard & Poor’s earlier this year, the recent and third investment rating upgrade has cemented the Philippines’ascent to investment grade status and perhaps improves the image and credibility of the Philippine economy to the international community.

With the Baa3 investment grade rating from Moody’s Investors Service, it brings so many things to the Philippine economy most especially that it also has a positive credit outlook. So, the higher the grade, the more credible the borrower and the lower the cost of debt. Although many have anticipated this development to come yet it is crucial in attracting more investments pouring in to the country. And with a robust economic performance since last year that grew 6.8 percent and 7.6 in the first half this year, the Philippines could become the latest investment hub of the world.

And according to experts, the latest investment rating upgrade means a good image for the Philippines in attracting more investments, that it is safe to do business; it lowers the interest in the borrowing cost as it signifies a strong capability to pay its debt; it reduces the cost of government development including the companies in the country, making it a lot easier to expand and lastly, more budget for infrastructure and social services spending. Although it may not translate into jobs or lower the rate of poverty unless reforms are made in improving the business environment and loosen up restrictions on foreign direct investments.

Moody’s has stated that the Philippine economy’s fast growth despite a slowing global economy was supported by steady overseas Filipino remittance inflows and healthy credit growth. And hopefully that should sustain the Philippines’ strong economic growth hence improving its credibility to the international community.

Image from Rappler.com

05 October 2013

Philippines’ Ascent to Investment Grade

The most anticipated credit rating upgrade for the Philippines has been finalized. Although it is expected because the Philippines has already received an investment grade rating from Fitch last March and it was followed with another from Standard & Poor’s later in May. And so last Thursday (3 October 2013) the last major debt-watcher, Moody’s, granted and raised the Philippines’ investment grade status to a Baa3 rating with a positive credit outlook.

Although the “Baa3” rating is the lowest in the investment grade ratings, yet it is well enough to place the Philippines’ economic performance on par with Turkey and Spain. And it is also considered a critical milestone in lifting the country’s economic status from one of Asia’s weaker economies which was once even considered “the sick man of Asia”. And the economic growth of 6.8 percent last year and 7.6 percent in the first half of 2013 are among the highest in Asia-Pacific and remained one of Asia’s best performers.
According to Moody’s, “The Philippines’ economic performance has entered a structural shift to higher growth, accompanied by low inflation.”

With three investment rating upgrades in succession, it only means one thing to the Philippines, a good image with a brighter outlook to the eyes of the investors. And with the badge of credit worthiness, it also reflects the confidence of the international community with regards to the strength of the Philippine economy. Many believe that there might be another upgrade in the coming years before 2016, the time when the current President steps down. And so what’s this latest credit rating upgrade means to the Philippines?

An improving credibility to the international community.

This post has been posted at "It's All About Seth" which is my wife's blog and I am reposting it here to have more exposure. Image from Rappler.com

03 October 2013

An Unexpected Call

Out of nowhere, I received a call this afternoon (which happens to be four months ago) from the water company where we get our drinking water supply. I was clueless at first why they call since we just came from vacation. And perhaps, at the back of my mind, it could be another telemarketer who would want to gain more and advertise their products.

However, I was surprised when the person on the other line asked me if we still have water to drink at the house considering that we just came from vacation and we forgot to bring out the consumed bottles outside during the delivery date. I think we are still feeling the discomfort that we have had during our travel back here especially the long hours of waiting at the airport. Plus the feeling of being annoyed when your gate number is changed without letting you know of the changes.
Anyway, going back to that call, I was delighted and surprised when she asked me if we still have water to drink in the house because if not then they can arrange a special delivery to us and at no extra cost as well. Although at the moment we still have one bottle left but I’m not sure if it will last for three more days until which the regular delivery will come since it is already half full. So I immediately grabbed the opportunity and set the delivery tomorrow morning. It was a surprising and an unexpected call but in the end, I am grateful and delighted for SAFA pure drinking water for their initiative of calling which is indeed a great customer service.

01 October 2013

Our Son Goes to School for the First Time

My wife has been recounting our son’s activities in his blog as he goes to school for the first time. I was there with him in the first two weeks dropping and picking him up outside his classroom. It was fun and lots of apprehensions as to how he will behave in the class especially that he always run and seldom stay at one area, not that he has some sort of problem, he is just very active. Then my apprehensions grows bigger and bigger as the days unfold and weeks has passed, more so that he is now catching up with the school bus.

Just like what my wife has said in her blog, it is not about safety that we are worried it is because he is running all the time. But those worries eventually turns nothing as he in fact likes riding in the school bus and he even told me about it with so much enthusiasm. Then he would run towards the window every time he hears the horn of the bus outside the house even after his school hours already. And his excitement shows and reflects on his face.

And one thing that I noticed during his first week at school is that, at first he was just hiding at the back of his mom and once he saw the toys around the classroom, it changes everything and he starts playing around. But then again, the worries came back as he starts running around the room and is no longer listening at his teachers. The only thing that turns out good is he did not cry when we left him and when we dropped him outside his classroom unlike some of his classmates who are still crying after the first week of class.